Jon Linyard competes in the Tineli Tri art Rabbit Island on Sunday. Photo: Evan Barnes/Shuttersport

Linyard getting back to his best


One of Nelson’s most experienced triathletes, Jon Linyard, showed he is on the comeback trail after winning his age group and finishing third overall in the Tineli Tri at Rabbit Island on Sunday.

Jon has always shown plenty of speed in the first two disciplines of the triathlon but has been battling to regain speed on the run after suffering a series of frustrating injuries. But on Sunday, the 40-44 age grouper showed he is almost fully fit, recording a fast 1 hr 12 min for the 750 m swim, 20 km cycle and 5 km run.

“I’m just pleased to be back,” Jon says.

“It’s neat to be physically fit again and competing.”

However, Jon says the standout performance of the day came from Waimea College athlete Hayden Squance who won the race in 1 hr 4 min 13 sec. Hayden exited the water in just 13 min 29 sec, completed the road cycle in 32 min 17 sec and then blitzed the 5 km run in 18 min 26 sec.

“That was a significant race for him,” Jon says. “He is much stronger this season and is putting it all together – he has improved his endurance and his technique.

“He ran 18 min 26 sec on that rugged course which is exceptional. His swim was also fast – he’s been pushing Thomas Heaton in the sea swims so that shows how much he’s improved.”
Sam Averill of Christchurch was second and Matt Newbury was fourth, 1 min 6 sec behind Jon, with Auckland’s Ben Eitelberg fifth.

Renee Hunt continued her impressive progress winning the women’s race in 1 hr 19 min 36 sec. The 40-44 age group athlete completed a 18 min 28 sec swim, 38 min 2 sec cycle and 23 min 5 sec run on her way to beating second-placed Frances Riley by almost two minutes.

The Tineli Tri is a selection event for the ITU Sprint World Championships held in Cozumel, Mexico in September next year.

Cameron Jones won the men’s spring duathlon, Luke Clotworthy won the men’s super spring duathlon, Melanie Chick won the super sprint triathlon and Hunta Sutherland won the super spring duathlon.