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On the bike . . . Oamaru Multisport Club athletes Samuel Petrie (left, 15) and Sam Edmondston (15) will use the club's upcoming events to train for the New Zealand Secondary School Triathlon event next year. PHOTO: KAYLA HODGE

Oamaru Multisport Club events have never been so important.

In the coming months, the club is hosting duathlons, fun runs, swimming sessions and strength and conditioning classes, and athletes will travel to Waimate and Timaru for cycle races.

Oamaru Multisport Club treasurer Adair Craik said the events were crucial for people’s physical and mental wellbeing, especially during the Covid-19 pandemic.

“Because so many events have been cancelled, so many people have felt lost, and lost the motivation,” Craik said.

She hoped hosting the events would help get people “back on the bike”.

“They aren’t difficult events – it’s not hard to get yourself fit enough to compete,” she said.

The duathlon and fun run series will begin on November 11 and run on the following two Wednesdays.

Entrants can pick between a short or long course in the duathlon, respectively named “off the couch” and “weekend warriors”.

The short course consists of a 2km run, 4km bike and a 700m run, and the long course involves a 2km run, 12km bike and a 2km run.

The fun run has 2km, 5km and 12km categories.

It was open to all ages and was a great event for families to get involved in, Craik said.

“We get a real mix – it’s amazing.

“The really cool thing is often when parents take their kids, they start cycling too, because they see it’s something you can do with your kids … it’s really cool fun.”

She expected 60 to 100 people to take part over the three weeks.

Athletes Samuel Petrie and Sam Edmondston (both 15), planned to use the events as training for national competitions.

Both said it was a great way to prepare and to meet new people.

The club’s events would lead into triathlons next year, and the Oamaru Triathlon in March, which ran in conjunction with South Island Secondary School Triathlon Championships.

Cyclists could also travel to Waimate on Mondays, for 15km road and mountain bike races. There were also races in South Canterbury on Saturdays, Craik said.