Challenge volunteer John Darby watches the swimmers from
his kayak. Photos by Mark Price.
As the annual Challenge Wanaka festival of sporting
events began yesterday, organisers issued an appeal for more
volunteers at this weekend's flagship race.
Volunteer manager Jo Guest said there were already about 500
volunteers registered to help at the long-distance Challenge
Wanaka triathlon - and the shorter Lake Wanaka Half - both on
However, more people were still needed for traffic control on
the bike course, around the central race area on Pembroke
Park and for ''night shift'' duties on aid stations along the
The latter required people willing to provide support and
sustenance to athletes from about 7pm until 11pm.
''For the last few runners that come through, having been
going all day, that's where we need the help,'' Miss Guest
She encouraged team competitors who would finish their race
leg earlier in the day to consider spending some some time
volunteering ''if they'd like to give back to the other
Athletes preparing for Challenge Wanaka swim the course on
Lake Wanaka at dawn yesterday, accompanied by a flotilla of
Volunteers can register at the main race marquee on
Pembroke Park or on the Challenge Wanaka website.
In the first of the events on the Challenge Wanaka programme,
hundreds of competitors took the opportunity to practise on
the Roys Bay swim course in fine, calm conditions at dawn
Those doing the full challenge on Saturday will complete two
laps - a total distance of 3.8km. Competitors are encouraged
to do the pre-race swim to acclimatise to open water swimming
in a large group and avoid panic attacks on race day.
The lake is considered to be the warmest in the Southern
Lakes, however wetsuits are compulsory. During the challenge
last year, lake conditions were rough.
Last evening, a 5km charity fun run along the lakefront to
Waterfall Creek also attracted a large crowd of entrants of
all ages, some dressed in movie star-themed costumes.