Children take on challenge

The first wave of year 3 competitors in the Puzzling World Junior Challenge sets off on the...
The first wave of year 3 competitors in the Puzzling World Junior Challenge sets off on the shores of Glendhu bay yesterday morning. PHOTOS: KERRIE WATERWORTH
Waiting in ‘‘waves’’  yesterday are year 3 competitors in the Puzzling World 
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Waiting in ‘‘waves’’ yesterday are year 3 competitors in the Puzzling World Junior Challenge Wanaka at the start of their running and bike race in Rotary Park.
Enjoying a strawberry gelato after the race are Wanaka 
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Enjoying a strawberry gelato after the race are Wanaka Primary School pupil Charlotte Howard (7) and her mother Sophie Dalziel, both of Wanaka.
Challenge Wanaka volunteer Becca 
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Challenge Wanaka volunteer Becca Ostrovsky directs year 3 competitors along the course at Glendhu Bay yesterday morning.
ear 3 runners and cyclists compete for 
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ear 3 runners and cyclists compete for space on the slope in the Puzzling World Junior Challenge Wanaka at Glendhu Bay yesterday morning.
Piper Muir, of Edendale, won first place in the 
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Piper Muir, of Edendale, won first place in the year 3 grade of the Puzzling World Junior Challenge Wanaka.
A volunteer lends a hand at the Puzzling World Junior 
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A volunteer lends a hand at the Puzzling World Junior Challenge at Glendhu Bay yesterday. There were volunteers all along the course to help young competitors with everything from fixing a broken wheel to tying shoelaces or even wiping away tears.
Braden Currie (left) presents medals to the top three year 3 boys in the 
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Braden Currie (left) presents medals to the top three year 3 boys in the ...
Now which one is it? Robert Norman tries to find his son 
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Now which one is it? Robert Norman tries to find his son Jake’s bike, but admits he has no idea where his son dropped it or the race number on the bike.

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.

kerrie.waterworth@odt.co.nz

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