Bahrain Endurance 13 will see racing action again this week as Terenzo Bozzone toes the start line for Ironman New Zealand and Lauren Parker lines up for the Devonport World Cup.

This is Bozzone’s first year to race as defending champion since beginning his Ironman career here eleven years ago. Bozzone stunned the hometown crowd and the world with a sub-8 hour performance last year. Despite a pro field that includes speedy Kiwi compatriots Braden Currie and multiple Ironman New Zealand champion Cameron Brown as well as uberbiker Andrew Starykowicz and Ironman 70.3 world champion Tim Reed, Bozzone knows he can push the envelope even further.

“The forecast for the day looks great and I can’t wait to put on a show for the record books this weekend with what has to be the toughest and deepest field to start here in NZ.”

Bozzone states, “It is the 35th anniversary down here for Ironman NZ; it is the second oldest Ironman outside of Hawaii, so a very special race all round. My preparation this year has gone great and I can’t wait for the year of racing to kick off for me this weekend.

“I am fortunate to already have secured my spot for the world champs [due to winning Ironman Western Australia], but this is going to be a very good opportunity for me to test the waters with where my body is at this early in the season and see if the aspects we have been working on will return positive outcomes.”

Parker will be racing the Devonport World Cup off the back of a hometown win in Newcastle at the Oceania Paratriathlon Championships. “I’ve pulled up pretty well after the race. After an easy recovery day I was back into training at the track as normal,” she says. “I guess it’s a bit of a challenge lining up for two races in the same week, but I can’t wait to get stuck in and hopefully keep the momentum going.”

Last year, she took home the silver here in what was technically her first full paratriathlon event, after the swim leg at the Oceania Championships was cancelled. Parker reveals, “I feel this race played an important part in the journey to where I am now with my racing, and where I’m hoping to get to. I’m looking forward to giving it another crack this year and hopefully just keep improving every time I race.”