The Splash and Dash series has the tick of approval from Taranaki's leading triathlete, Clark Ellice.
"Awesome," was how Ellice described the first race of six in the summer Splash and Dash series on Thursday. "I was really stoked with the way things went. Everyone was pleased with how it went and were surprised there was prizemoney for first, second and third, rather than spot prizes. The surf clubs and swimmers have got behind it."
Ellice won the long course event, comprising a 1000m swim and a 4km run, in a time of 28 minutes 32 seconds.
"I helped organise the event, so I didn't take any of the prizes. I paced a young fella [Jay Cadman-Kennedy]. He was first out of the water with Charlotte Webby and finished only 4sec behind me."
Webby won the women's long course event in 30min 59sec. Mitchell Owen won the men's short course race of a 500m swim and 2km run in 15:16 and Jenna Barrett won the women's short course race in 17:24.
Ellice predicted the event would grow.
"It's quite humbling how many people supported the first event and I'd be very surprised if it didn't grow in popularity."
Selwyn Brown, one of the organisers of the series along with Ellice and Graham Park, said 44 competitors took part in the first race - 26 in the short course event and 18 over the long course distance.
"It was a great night. The weather cleared and I think the event has real potential . . . both as a spectacle and a race," Brown said. "I think it could be a big hit - I'm hoping we can get more than 100 competing by the end of the series. It's a good opportunity for youngsters to test themselves against the likes of Charlotte and Clark."
Brown said entrants accumulated points for their efforts each time they competed.
"The points will aggregate to a total score at the end of the series. The top two men and women in each category will receive prizes."
Brown sees the event as a perfect leadup to the Wells New Plymouth half ironman on February 9.
The second race in the series is on Thursday, December 20, starting at 5.45pm.
- © Fairfax NZ News
Have you lost faith in Taranaki rugby?Related story: Taranaki lose to Waikato
Get Taranaki's frequent news and sport updates