Fifth-time Challenge Wanaka participant Carmelo Gallo: ‘This is the most unique race by far’

With only three weeks to go until CHALLENGEWANAKA, Australian Age Grouper Carmelo Gallo (54) is really looking forward to the race that he is calling his ‘highlight of the year’. This year’s edition is going to be his fifth participation. “I was blown away the first time I’ve got there. This race is very spectacular.”

Gallo lives in Sydney, Australia and is doing tons of races for sixteen years already, but there is one race he barely can’t wait for: CHALLENGEWANAKA. “Guess it’s about the stunning location, but also the people. The locals are very welcoming every race. This combination makes this race perfectly amazing.”

Five years ago Gallo went for his first CHALLENGEWANAKA, thanks to a friend’s advice. “He was telling me how good this race was, but when I got there myself, I was blown away. It was just like my friend told me, and more. The actual course is spectacular: the swim is in cool water, the ride provides athletes with amazing views all the way through and the thing what makes Wanaka really special is the run. It’s next to a river with light blue, crystal clear water. I love it.”

It’s maybe even more the nature at CHALLENGEWANAKA‘s running course what Gallo makes so enthusiastic. “It’s a trail for 75%. You run right in the wilderness and if you look around, there is almost nobody running next to you. This is very unique in the world of triathlon. Not for nothing I’m calling CHALLENGEWANAKA the most unique race I’ve ever done. By far.”

Not that strange that Gallo always registers for CHALLENGEWANAKA the day registration opens. “I’m so passionate about it. It’s not only about me enjoying this race, but it’s a true journey and an experience. My personal best at CHALLENGEWANAKA is 5:05hr and I really like to push my limits. I’d like to give it a go this year and I’ve trained smart, but it will depend on the conditions if it’s possible to smash my own record. At the finish line I will be broken, but I will be laughing for sure as well!”