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And they're off . . . Competitors burst from the start line in the under-8 section of the North Otago primary schools Kiwi Kids Tryathlon at Oamaru Intermediate School last Thursday. PHOTO: DANIEL BIRCHFIELD

Numbers may have been down, but that did not dampen the enthusiasm of those competing in last Thursday’s North Otago primary schools Kiwi Kids Tryathlon at Oamaru Intermediate School.

The annual event is organised by the Oamaru Multisport Club.

Competitors ran, biked and swum distances based on three categories – under-8, 8 to 10 years, and 11 and over.

Adair Craik, of the Oamaru Multisport Club, said numbers were down this year with about 20 children taking part.

In previous years, anywhere between 50 and 100 had competed.

“We haven’t quite got the numbers today, but I think the weather was pretty poor in the morning so that put a few people off.

“It’s been a fun day and that won’t deter us from putting it on again.”

She believed the school was the ideal location to host the event as it had spacious grass fields and, unlike a lot of modern schools, a swimming pool.

Craik said triathlon was an exciting sport to be involved in and hoped the event would inspire young people to take it up.

“I think it exposes them to the sport. Triathlon’s a relatively new sport in the world.

“It’s a great sport because you can do multiple disciplines and it doesn’t matter if you’re not particularly good at any one.

“If you’re average at all three then you’re going to be a good triathlete.”