Lake Wanaka, New Zealand

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Lake Wanaka, New Zealand

Festival events encourage everyone to get active

Posted on: Monday 6th January 2014

This month’s eighth annual Challenge Wanaka Triathlon Festival once again includes several satellite events designed to give locals and visitors alike the opportunity to get active, have fun and take part in the world’s number one fastest-growing sport.

With more than 1,600 competitors focused on the full and half distance triathlon races on Saturday 18 January, the Radio Wanaka 5km Fun Run/Walk (Wednesday 15 January), Puzzling World Junior Challenge Wanaka and Sport Central 3:9:3 (both Friday 17 January) are open to everyone with registration available on the day itself.

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The Radio Wanaka 5km Charity Fun Run/Walk kicks things off in laid-back style along an easy lakefront course towards Waterfall Creek and back through Rippon Vineyard, Edgewater Resort and Wanaka Station Park. Participants are encouraged to dress up as their favourite movie character and be in to win some great spot prizes. Registration takes place at the Meadowstone corner of Lake Wanaka from 5.30pm on Wednesday 15 January. Entry costs $10 with all proceeds going to Cystic Fibrosis NZ, Challenge Wanaka’s official charity.

The Puzzling World Junior Challenge Wanaka has a new day and a new course for 2014 taking youngsters down the official finish chute for the first time. Different course lengths cater for individuals and teams in four age groups from 6-15 years with a swim through Lake Wanaka followed by a bike along Ardmore Street and run around Pembroke Park. There are medals, T-shirts and prizes for everyone, plus additional spot prizes. Early bird entry prices are available online before 14 January with registration from 11.30am on Friday 17 January before a 1pm race start.

Taking place in downtown Wanaka later that afternoon, the Sport Central 3:9:3 is a new sprint event organised by Southland Triathlon and Multisport Club comprising a 300m swim, 9.6km bike and 3km run. Whether competing for the first time or not, anyone aged 13 and above is welcome to enter, especially friends and family of Challenge Wanaka athletes who will be in town on the day. Registration is from 1.00pm with the race starting at 3.30pm.

Satellite event manager, Iona Sanders said that while Challenge Wanaka and the Lake Wanaka Half were the main focus for athletes and spectators, the satellite events gave everyone an opportunity to participate and get active.

“Whether you’re young, not-so-young or somewhere in between, these events are designed to be accessible and fun so get involved! A key part of the Challenge Family philosophy is participation and community spirit. The Challenge Wanaka Triathlon Festival embraces this throughout its programme and it’s so rewarding to see so many people from the local community taking part as competitors, spectators and volunteers,” she said.

Challenge Wanaka Triathlon Festival attracts in excess of 2,000 athletes over a multi-day celebration of sport involving all ages and abilities. The flagship event, Challenge Wanaka long distance triathlon (3.8km/180km/42.2km) is part of the renowned Challenge Family global series of triathlons which features 22 races in 14 countries, including the world’s largest long distance triathlon, Challenge Roth in Germany.