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There were thrills and spills when hundreds of children from years 1 to 6 competed in the Puzzling World Junior Challenge at Glendhu Bay yesterday morning.
In its new location set against the backdrop of the Southern Alps and the Te Wahipounamu World Heritage Area competitors and their families had perfect weather and a picture perfect day for the competition.
Budding triathletes from as young as 5 years old ran and biked along the Glendhu Bay lakefront before a final run on to the red carpet and through the Challenge Wanaka finish line.
Years 3 to 6 had an added swimming component.
Organisers said it did not matter if the child had never participated in a triathlon before.
"The Junior Challenge event was designed to provide a fun and safe opportunity for all children to challenge and compete individually against their peers in a fun and safe environment."
In the briefing before each race, the children were told there were volunteers along the course to help them with everything from tying shoelaces to helping push the bike up the slope if it was too hard.
At the prizegiving, world champion triathlete Braden Currie presented the top girl and boy competitors in each age group with medals.
The medal-winning children were given the opportunity to be the balloon kids for the Challenge Wanaka lead pro male and female athletes today.