7 December 2012 - One of New Zealand's most successful triathletes, Joanna Lawn, has confirmed her spot at Challenge Wanaka on 19 January, adding a new dimension to the women's race and ensuring an exciting showdown with four-time Challenge Wanaka champion Gina Crawford (NZL) and multiple iron distance title holder Kate Bevilaqua (AUS).
This is the first time Lawn has visited the spectacular alpine town of Lake Wanaka and is looking forward to a new race experience in her home country.
"2013 is going to be a very exciting year for me, as I have decided to participate in some races that I have always wanted to do, but haven't been able to because of prior commitments," she said. "I have not only heard great things about this race, but also about Wanaka itself as being one of the most desirable places in NZ to visit. I am so looking forward to racing Challenge Wanaka!"
Lawn has previous won the Challenge Family flagship race and the world's largest long distance triathlon, Challenge Roth in Germany and is looking forward to racing with the Challenge Family again.
"The Challenge Family has expanded rapidly since I won Challenge Roth in 2006 and as an organisation they are second to none, and are very welcoming to all age groupers and professional athletes alike."
Lawn has had a prestigious career to date and is ranked as one of the "Top 10 Greatest Female Iron Distance Triathletes of All Time" by Inside Triathlon. She holds multiple full and half distance titles around the world including seven wins at Ironman New Zealand as well as regular top 10 world championship finishes.
Lawn joins a high profile professional field for the seventh Challenge Wanaka that also includes multiple world champion Chris McCormack and former duathlon world champion, Leon Griffin.
Challenge Wanaka takes place on 19 January 2013 and is part of New Zealand's largest triathlon festival involving over 2,000 participants that runs from 13-19 January and features events for all ages and abilities. Other highlights include the Puzzling World Junior Challenge Wanaka on 13 January, the Radio Wanaka 5km Charity Fancy Dress Fun Run, and the Contact Tri Series Contact Cup featuring the country's top short course athletes on Friday 18 January.
For further information, visit ChallengeWanaka.com.