Challenge Wanaka has wide appeal

NATHAN BURDON
Last updated 05:00 17/01/2014

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While tomorrow's Challenge Wanaka is one of the toughest tasks in triathlon, those looking to take their first steps in the sport will be competing in today's 3:9:3 event along the Lake Wanaka waterfront.

The Central Sport 3:9:3 - 300m swim, 9.6km bike, 3km run - is being run by the Southland Triathlon and Multisport Club, who stepped up after Triathlon New Zealand opted not to bring a round of its national series back to Wanaka this year.

While a Junior Challenge Wanaka event earlier in the afternoon caters for youngsters from 6 to 15 years, the 3:9:3 race is for 13-year-olds through to adults.

Race director Sally Hayes said it was hoped the distances involved would have wide appeal.

"Tri NZ had a 3:9:3 but they also had elite racing on the Friday night. We aren't targeting anyone specific; this race if for anyone. For some people it might be their first triathlon or, for others, they might have a bit more triathlon experience. It will be interesting to see how it goes."

Hayes said the Southland club had overcome the obstacles of organising a race in Wanaka.

"We are pretty lucky that most of our club guys that help out with events are racing in Challenge the next day, so a lot of us are up there anyway."

Future involvement in the buildup to Challenge Wanaka would be determined by whether the national series returned to Wanaka, Hayes said.

A national series will take place in Mt Maunganui, Whangamata, Takapuna, Kinloch, Christchurch, Wellington and Auckland this summer.

"It all depends on what Tri NZ decide to do in the future. We are just filling that space until they decide to come back."

AT A GLANCE

Sport Central 3:9:3

Swim: 300m - out 100m, along shore 100m, in 100m

Bike: 9.6km - 8 laps of a 1.2km course along the lake front

Run: 3km - around the park and finish through the Challenge Wanaka finish chute

Registrations - 1pm-3pm today. Racing starts at 3.30pm

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- The Southland Times

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