Committed to putting the IRON in IRONMAN

Posted on Tuesday, 9 April 2024 under IRONMAN New Zealand

March represents the end of another New Zealand summer. It’s also the time of year when New Zealand’s leading endurance athletes, along with some 2,000 weekend warriors from around the world, come together in Lake Taupō to take on the challenge of completing the iconic and beautiful IRONMAN® New Zealand course.

Iconic’ is a big word, but with IRONMAN New Zealand celebrating its 40th year in 2024 - as the longest running IRONMAN event outside of Hawaii - ‘iconic’ is a word that sits comfortably with this race. It boasts a 3.8km swim, 180km cycle, and 42.2km run, and it's the mix of location, community spirit and camaraderie that makes IRONMAN New Zealand so special.

This year’s event is also the first time that ANZCO Foods has taken on the Title Partner role, and the company is extremely proud to have created this partnership that they hope will continue for many years to come.

ANZCO Foods’ link to IRONMAN New Zealand starts at the top. CEO Peter Conley has had a long history in the sport including completing the Taupō course twice. General Manager Sales & Marketing, Rick Walker, is also an avid IRONMAN competitor, with 2024 representing his twelfth IRONMAN race, eight of which have been in Taupō. Over the past year the wider ANZCO Foods community has also caught the IRONMAN bug, with a number of employees competing in the IRONMAN 70.3 race for the first time. The ANZCO Foods race team also involves three external competition winners, including Kieran Hickman, a sheep and beef farmer from Marlborough, who was highlighted in last month’s edition of Kia Ora.

For Rick, the opportunity to partner with IRONMAN New Zealand was too good to pass up. “Nutrition and good health are a crucial part of success in such a gruelling event,” he says.

“The partnership with IRONMAN New Zealand ties in perfectly with what we do at ANZCO Foods, which is bringing you nutrition and good health from New Zealand’s fi nest beef and lamb.

To help share their story, ANZCO Foods has worked closely with two of the world’s best professional long-distance triathletes, Hannah Berry and Braden Currie, who are strong believers in the benefits of good nutrition and the important role top quality beef and lamb can play in their ongoing success.  

“When I am in my peak training period my calorie expenditure can be huge, “says Hannah. “It’s really important that the calories I consume are coming from quality whole foods. Beef and lamb give me the protein and amino acids that my body needs to recover, repair muscles, and strengthen bones. It also ensures I’m getting plenty of micronutrients such as zinc, iron and B12, which can be depleted really quickly when you’re pushing yourself to the limit day-in-day-out.”

This summer, ANZCO Foods has also aligned with three of the sport’s up and coming stars – Kyle Smith, Matt Kerr, and Fiona Gallagher – who also use New Zealand beef and lamb as a key part of their nutritional plan.

“On big training days I tend to keep my food simple, with a focus on top quality beef or lamb accompanied by potatoes and plenty of salad,”

Fiona says. "Iron is one of the most common deficiencies in people’s diets, particularly for women. I count myself very lucky to have the backing of a company like ANZCO Foods that is passionate about crafting some of the world’s best beef and lamb and helps me keep my iron levels up when I am expending so much energy preparing for ANZCO Foods IRONMAN New Zealand.”

Of course, beef and lamb are not just for those Kiwis crazy enough to take on the IRONMAN challenge. “Beef and lamb have always been a cornerstone of the traditional New Zealand diet," says Rick. "The world is changing at an ever-increasing pace and nutrition fads and diets come and go. We know that the natural goodness of beef and lamb created by New Zealand’s world leading farmers will always play an important part in the lives of families and communities across the country.

 “We've had great feedback from New Zealanders over the past year about our message of the nutritional benefits that come from enjoying New Zealand’s fi nest beef and lamb,” Rick adds. “With our first ANZCO Foods IRONMAN New Zealand under our belts, the ANZCO Foods team is looking forward to strengthening its partnership with IRONMAN New Zealand even further in 2025 and continuing to celebrate what our company, industry, and product offers all New Zealanders, as well as our customers, chefs, and consumers around the world.”

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