Cameron Jones and Andrea Hewitt after competing in the St James races on Saturday. Photo: Simon Bloomberg

Cameron has big alpine adventure


Waimea College multisport athlete Cameron Jones had a perfect dress-rehearsal for next month’s Kathmandu Coast to Coast when he won the St James Alpine Adventure near Hanmer Springs on Saturday.

Cameron won the event, which included a 7km kayak on Lake Tennyson, 65km mountainbike on the St James trail and a 16km run around the St James Homestead, in a fast 5hr 21min 10sec. The 16-year-old student was in good company on the podium at the multi-sports festival with Commonwealth Games gold medal-winning mountainbiker Anton Cooper winning the bike race and world class triathlete Andrea Hewitt winning the 20km trail run in a record 1hr 23min 43sec.

“I was really happy with it,” Cameron says. “I was first out of the kayak and then went really hard on the mountainbike.

“I was really stuffed after the ride and then found with my running legs so I was able to finish hard. It was the longest race I’ve ever done but the training must be working because I still had plenty left in my legs at the finish.”

Although the mountainbike stage was completely different to the road riding he will encounter in the Coast to Coast, Cameron says the length of the event and the run stage were an ideal lead up to his main target for the season. It will be the first time Cameron has raced in the full Coast to Coast after completing the kayak section in the Waimea College team last year.

Motueka’s Maria Voigt won the 45km trail run in 5hr 22min while two Nelson teams, Team Stihl and Team Silky, used the St James Macpac Mountainman Adventure  as a hit out for the GODZone Adventure Race in Queenstown next month. Team Silky’s Nigel Kelly, Jane Orbell, Mike Buschl and Simon Bloomberg completed the 10km kayak, 83km mountainbike and 48km run in 13hr 59min 42sec while Team Silky’s Cal Irvine and Vicky Shelling battled mechanical problems on the mountainbike to finish in 15hr 10min 57sec.