Swimmers await their turn. Photo by Gerard O'Brien.
The number of children swimming, biking and running may
have been down compared with previous years, but enthusiasm was
up, organisers of the Weet-Bix Kids Tryathlon say.
Memorial Park in Mosgiel was transformed into a mass of
youthful energy as parents and supporters cheered the 828
children taking part in the Dunedin leg of the national
• Slideshow: Kids Tryathlon
Moments after becoming the first 9-year-old to complete the
swim of 75m, 4km bike ride and 1.5km run, Theo Smith said,
''It was fun ... and pretty easy.''
The Kaikorai Primary pupil, who enjoys gymnastics and diving,
said the hardest part was getting ''a really bad stitch''
during his sprint towards the finishing line.
He was presented with a medal by former basketball star
Dillon Boucher, one of several identities, including cyclist
Alison Shanks, presenting medals.
A spokesman said more than 1000 7 to 15-year olds took part
in 2013, so numbers were down, but the feedback indicated
this year's event was extremely popular.
''The children were very enthusiastic.''
The Dunedin leg - the eighth of 14 Weet-Bix Kids Tryathlon
events around the country - attracted participants from Otago
Feedback indicated some parents wanted an event in Central
Otago and ''we are always looking at areas that we could
expand into,'' the spokesman said.
It was the 15th year Ian Paulin, of Dunedin, had been
He helped enlist the 100 volunteers providing marshalling
services for participants and spectators.