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This year’s Whitehorse Big Easy will introduce a whole new generation to multisport.

Being held on February 29, the 2020 event includes a new school trophy, which will be awarded to the school with the most entries per capita.

Whitehorse Big Easy marketing manager Nicky Caird said the committee had decided to make a push to encourage more children to get active and make the most of Waimate’s outdoor opportunities.

The Veterinary Centre-sponsored event, which started in 2017, has attracted more than 400 competitors each year.

There were several walking, running and mountain biking categories, but the event’s major fundraiser, and fiercest competition, came in the form of the team challenge, in which teams of two took on an 18km run and 27km mountain bike, with the added challenge of raising as much money as they could for a variety of local charities, Mrs Caird said.

Each team had to raise at least $250 via a Givealittle page – with the added incentive of every dollar raised over $250 giving them one second off their race time.

Every year, the event has raised more than $20,000 for local charities.

This year, money raised will be used to support St John Waimate, Waimate School of Music, Sport Waimate, Centrecare Counselling, Waimate Rotary Club and the Whitehorse Mountain Bikers Club.

The event was also a good promotion of Waimate’s off-road cycling and walking tracks, Mrs Caird said.

“There has been great feedback about the Big Easy trails over the summer holiday period and numbers on the tracks appear to be increasing all the time,” she said.

“The weather has also been kind so far and the tracks are in very good condition.”

Entry numbers were slightly ahead of the same time last year, but the committee was expecting the usual influx of late entries, she said.

The courses will be much the same as previous years, with the addition of a 5km mountain bike ride for all ages, and the popular twisted monster trail has been included to the longer mountain bike legs.

All the categories start and finish at Waimate’s Victoria Park.

To register for the event, visit whitehorsebigeasy.co.nz.