Triathlon festival more about socialising, getting active

Participants mark completing the Wānaka Medical Social Tri and the official start of the week...
Participants mark completing the Wānaka Medical Social Tri and the official start of the week-long Integrity Homes Challenge Wānaka Festival of Triathlon yesterday. PHOTO: SUPPLIED
A dip in the pool, Pilates, a coffee break followed by a casual bike and a walk around the lake — sounds like a typical Sunday in Central Otago.

However, it was actually the Wānaka Medical Social Tri — the first event marking the start of the week-long Integrity Homes Challenge Wānaka Festival of Triathlon.

Forty people took part in the event in Wānaka yesterday, with a focus on socialising and getting active rather than competition.

The event was designed to encourage individuals of all ages and abilities to kick-start their journey towards a healthier lifestyle.

Friends and families gathered at the finish line to celebrate creating a buzz of excitement for participants.

Wānaka race director Jane Sharman said it was a great way to begin the week’s events.

"It was awesome — we had a few extra people sign up this morning and take part ... There’s a really good vibe."

This week more than 2600 athletes of all ages and abilities are expected to take part in a range of triathlon events around Wānaka, from preschoolers through to professional athletes.

A range of events for primary and secondary school-aged children will take place at Glendhu Bay on Thursday and Friday, while on Friday night more than 80 elite and international triathletes will take over the Wānaka town centre for the Tri NZ Oceania Cup Twilight Challenge.

The festival culminates with the Integrity Homes Challenge Wānaka Half on Saturday.

Mrs Sharman, who is in her first year as race director, said the festival would not be possible if it was not for the dedication of more than 200 volunteers working behind the scenes, and the support of the wider Wānaka community.

"They’re part of the heart of the event", she said.

shannon.thomson@odt.co.nz

 

 

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