The iconic Tauranga Half has been part of the Mount Maunganui summer since 1990, making it one of New Zealand’s longest running and most iconic triathlons.
On January 2nd, a gloomy Tuesday morning back in 1990, the starters gun when off and more than 230 individuals and 80 team swimmers plunged into the tide and headed off into the maze of boats clustered in the mist. Inaugural race director Bruce Trask said “we thought if we got 100 people in total, we’d be going ok”, so even though it rained like heck, it pretty much went off without a hitch.
In driving rain Scott Balance, a 24yr old Wellingtonian, became the first winner of the Tauranga Half with an inspired run, passing Dave Spring in the final km to win by 12secs. In contrast, a big swim had Karen Williams, 34, in the box seat early in the women’s race. She exited the water in second spot, quickly took the lead on the bike and was never headed.