Women's triathlon off due to low numbers

03:00, Nov 15 2012

The annual Marlborough Women's Triathlon scheduled for Sunday has been postponed because of the lack of entries.

Organisers said yesterday the event, once contested by hundreds, had attracted just 40 entries by Wednesday morning.

Organised and run by Go Marlborough under contract to the Marlborough District Council, the weekend's event was to be the 30th anniversary of the event.

For the past two years the event had been reduced to a run-cycle-run duathlon in the Wither Hills farm park area because the outdoor pool at the Marlborough Aquatic Centre had not been available.

The event was to have included the 100-metre swim leg again.

Go Marlborough spokesman Duncan MacKenzie said he was disappointed and deflated at having to postpone the event, but such a low number of entries could not justify the logistics required to run it.


He hoped the event would go ahead early next year, possibly in March, and he would be making every effort to resurrect the race.

"We are putting a brains trust together to look at how we can attract contestants - people who have done every previous one, the Marlborough Multisport Club, newcomers who were planning to do it - and I'm sure we'll get some good outcomes," Mr MacKenzie said. "We'll no doubt cop a bit of flak but that's OK. I'd rather that and deliver a good package than sell it short."

The logistics involved in running the event did not justify holding it for 40 people, he said. At least 80 would have to enter for it to go ahead.

Problems attracting numbers to such events were symptomatic of the financial climate, with several others around the country experiencing similar problems.

Blenheim woman Phillipa Barnes has done the women's triathlon at least 12 times and said yesterday she was frustrated and annoyed at how the event had fallen away in the past few years.

She had once thoroughly enjoyed the event but the organisation needed a good shake-up.

Previous years had included lead-up training sessions and programmes, bike preparation instructions and a lot more hype and interest, she said.

"There used to be 300 or 400 doing it."

She was unhappy about the change of timing and the lack of advance notice.

"You can't advertise this thing a month before. You need more time to prepare. If I had known three months ago, I would have been on my bike training."

The decision at the beginning of the year to include the event with the men's triathlon had also upset her.

" This was an event for women to get out and train for," Mrs Barnes said.

"Maybe it needs to go back to the old organisers."

Mr MacKenzie said a meeting to resurrect the triathlon will be scheduled within the next fortnight, and he hoped to set a new date soon afterwards.

The Marlborough Express