Conditions tough for triathletes

Some of the 6- and 7-year-old children taking part in the Junior Challenge Wanaka triathlon...
Some of the 6- and 7-year-old children taking part in the Junior Challenge Wanaka triathlon yesterday. Photo by Challenge Wanaka.
More than 270 junior triathletes triumphed over rough lake conditions yesterday morning and romped home in the Puzzling World Junior Challenge Wanaka.

The event opens the week-long Challenge Wanaka Triathlon Festival, which finishes with the 226km Challenge Wanaka triathlon and the 113km Lake Wanaka Half on Saturday.

Torrential rain and alpine snow at 5am had given way to sunshine by 10am but there was then a flood of tears from some of the smallest triathletes in the 6-7 year group as they dealt with a frenetic mass start in the 50m "swim" leg.

The littlies recovered well and most went on to successfully complete their cycle and run legs on Pembroke Park.

With the start of each age group, the wind ramped up the challenge, so by the time the 13-15 year group started a 200m swim, they were contending with rolling breakers.

"Wow, those kids were tough today," Challenge Wanaka director Victoria Murray-Orr said yesterday.

"I can't believe we woke to snow on the hills this morning but that wasn't going to stop these guys. It was awesome to see so many youngsters having so much fun."

Hundreds of people gathered to cheer the children to victory.

All participants received a T-shirt, cap and bag and other goodies.

The winners of each age group won the right to carry balloons down the finish chute with the Challenge Wanaka long distance triathlon winners on Saturday.

The Challenge Wanaka Triathlon Festival continues today with the Radio Wanaka charity 5km fun run and walk, starting at the Meadowstone end of the lakefront at 6.30pm (registration 5.30pm).


Boys, 6-7 years: Sam Idiens (7), Christchurch, 1; Ian Pugh (6), Tauranga (2); Caleb Dixon (7), Cromwell, 3.
Girls, 6-7 years: Ella Landreth (7), 1; Grace Creighton (7), Wanaka, 2; Olive-Coco Verkerk (7), Oamaru, 3.
Teams, 6-7 years: The Rock Stars, Georgia Bailey, Rachel Scovey and Georgia Thomson, all 6, Queenstown, 1.
Boys, 8-9 years: Jack Keen (9), 1, Hokonui; James Suddaby (9), Wanaka, 2; Jack Findlay (8), Wanaka, 3.
Girls, 8-9 years: Omea Hall (9), Winton, 1; Jessica Ekroyd (9), Wanaka, 2; Jaide Dixon (9), Cromwell, 3.
Teams, 8-9 years: WOW the Women of Wanaka, Ruby Burke, Meg Harroway, both 9, 1.
Boys, 10-12 years: Gregor Findlay (11), Wanaka, 1; Callum Hancock (10), Wellington, 2; Roger Kerbus (10), Wellington, 3.
Girls, 10-12 years: Mia Pugh (10), Wanaka, 1; Petra Hartley (11), Winton, 2; Ellesse Andrews (12), Wanaka, 3.
Teams, 10-12 years: Zarifah, Kate Zarifah (9), Harry Zarifah (10) Charlie Murray (10), Wanaka, 1.
Boys, 13-15 years: Matthew Adams (15), Rangiora, 1.
Girls, 13-15 years: Molly Wheeley (12), Winton, 1.
Teams, 13-15 years: The Muzzarifs, Jackson Murray (12), Jack Zarifah (13), Samuel Murray (10), 1.


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