CurraNZ ambassadors took top honours in two of the Tarawera Ultra Marathon events, with New Zealand's premier fixture attracting a record entry of 5,000 runners this year.
David Haunschmidt and Nancy Jiang flew the flag for our purple-powered team, winning the 50km and 100km men’s and women’s races respectively, with Nancy earning an automatic entry to Western States 100 in the US in June.
Long-time CurraNZ fan and the TUM 21km race record holder David Haunschmidt beat a field of world-class elite runners to set a new course record of 3:33.03 in the 50km event.
The emergency doctor from Wellington let the leaders go hard early and reeled them in in the second half. He realised 1km from home that he had a chance of beating the record and put the hammer down to win by seven minutes.
“It’s fantastic, I completely did not expect that so I’m absolutely over the moon,” said Haunschmidt, who took eight minutes off the record. He also holds the course record in the TUM 21km event.
“I knew there were some world class runners there, I mean Jono Jackson had the record (before Michael Voss), so I let them do the work and took the first half pretty conservative and then from Blue Lake onwards I just went for it and kind of ran scared.”
Nelson’s Nancy Jiang (above and left) put up a remarkable performance to win the women’s 102km race in 9 hours 26 minutes, beating an elite international field of women on just her second attempt at 100km.
The structural engineer credited CurraNZ for her win, saying ‘she felt she was going to have a good day, but I was not expecting to win – CurraNZ helped me to win that’.
In an eventful race featuring a strong elite women’s international field of 250, Nancy caught the leader at the last aid station, before taking a wrong turn. After being redirected back, Nancy regained her lead to narrowly win the event.
Nancy, who spends summers in Europe training and racing, says: “I arrived at the start line feeling strong and confident with my training and ready to fight.
“I saw the elite female start list and wanted to test myself against some of the top athletes in the sport.
“I also needed to podium to obtain an entry into CCC ((Courmayeur/Champex/Chammonit, the 100km category final of the UTMB World Series) again.
"I surprised myself when I caught second place before the last aid station. Then even more surprised when I caught the leading lady at the last aid station. After that, it was game on.”
This was Nancy’s first race using CurraNZ, which she loaded on for a week prior and during the race.
She says: “My coach Jonathan Wyatt has been telling me to try CurraNZ as another very successful athlete of his is using them and getting great results.
“So I started taking Curranz in my training block for Tarawera. I noticed I was recovering better and feeling stronger. And it’s safe to say that the proof is in the pudding.”