After a nail-biting 11 hours of live updates, a huge cheer erupted when the Angry Birds came first in the all-female teams at New Zealand’s gruelling Challenge Wanaka Triathlon!

We asked our favourite female team how it feels to be a winner on one of the world’s toughest courses.

How did you feel on the day?

Nicola: Excited, a bit nervous but ready and raring to go.
Julie-Anne: Excited and a little bit nervous. I was very glad it wasn’t as windy as the previous day.
Katy: Well rested – I went back to bed after wishing the girls the best in their legs! 

What were the challenges?

Nicola: The cold water (14.1 degrees) was a real shock to the system, even wearing a wetsuit – and especially the face freeze.  
Julie-Anne: As it was so cold, my legs started to cramp going up a couple of hills but I drank some Staminade, massaged my legs and thankfully the cramps went away.
Katy: At about 25km I started to have stomach cramps and bad bloating. Earlier on I felt something wasn’t right so hadn’t taken on too much liquid – so this was very frustrating. I wasn’t tired and my legs were fine, I was just unable to run and had to spend much of the second half doing a combination of running, jogging and walking.

Image copyright of Holly Stanton Photographer

And the highlights?

Nicola: Coming out of the water 2 minutes ahead of the eventual female individual winner, Candice Hammond!
Julie-Anne: Getting off the bike with a significant margin over the next all-female team, chatting to the pros and doing the same race as triathlon legend Scott Molina.
Katy: Seeing Nicola’s Mum holding a hand-made, surprise ‘Angry Birds’ placard!  

How did you feel when you won?

Nicola: Relieved and pleased that all the training had paid off.
Pretty happy!
Disappointed with my performance but happy for the team.

Image copyright of Holly Stanton Photographer

Did Staminade help on the day?

Nicola: I was well hydrated and had lots of energy from drinking Staminade prior to the race. I’m sure the electrolytes prevented me cramping, which can happen in very cold water.
Julie-Anne: I’m pretty sure the magnesium in Staminade helped to stop me cramping when going up the hills.
Katy: Despite the walking, I still covered 42km and yet didn’t have any muscle tiredness the next day: I felt I could have gone for a decent run!
I’ve been testing Staminade throughout my training program and have felt less achy and had a quicker recovery time. I’ll keep using it and have been recommending it to friends. I’ve also stopped taking magnesium supplements so it will be interesting to see if I can carry on with this approach when my training distances start increasing.  

What’s next on the sporting calendar?

Nicola: A 3.3km swim in Wellington harbour, a couple of 3.8km swims in NSW in March & April, and potentially a 15km swim in Hong Kong in October.
Julie-Anne: An Olympic distance triathlon this weekend (1.5km swim, 40km bike ride, 10km run).
Katy: 45km and 50km trail run races in March, North Face 100k run in May, Cairns Ironman in June and 100 mile trail race in Leadville, Colorado in August.

Huge congratulations to the Angry Birds! 

Image copyright of Holly Stanton Photographer

Images by kind permission of Holly Stanton Photographer.