Challenge Wanaka encourages activity

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The eighth annual Challenge Wanaka Triathlon Festival will include several satellite events to give locals and visitors the opportunity to get active.

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

The 5km Charity Fun Run / Walk will begin proceedings 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 January 15. Entry will cost $10 with all proceeds going to Cystic Fibrosis NZ, Challenge Wanaka’s official charity.

The Puzzling World Junior Challenge Wanaka has a new course for 2014, taking youngsters down the official finish chute for the first time. Different course lengths will cater for individuals and teams in four age groups from 6-15 years with a swim through Lake Wanaka followed by a cycle route along Ardmore Street and run around Pembroke Park.

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, all aged 13 and above are eligible to enter with registration from 1.00pm with the race starting at 3.30pm.

Satellite event manager, Iona Sanders said the day’s events are to encourage all those interested to get involved.

“Whether you’re young, not-so-young or somewhere in between, these events are designed to be accessible and fun so get involved,” she said.

“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.”

By JAMES FORD

PHOTO: Puzzling World Junior Challenge Wanaka, one of the satellite events during the challenge – SUPPLIED