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Challenge Wanaka closes entries on a high


Challenge Wanaka entries have now closed with a record field set to take on the scenic iron distance triathlon. Just under 1,200 athletes from 27 nations will descend on the small lakeside town in New Zealand’s Southern Alps for either the flagship Challenge event or the Lake Wanaka Half.

"We’re delighted with the sustained growth of Challenge Wanaka that continues to attract more athletes to the exciting sport of endurance triathlon. This year we’re celebrating our fifth anniversary and we’ve seen a 600% growth since that first race back in 2007," said Race Director, Victoria Murray-Orr.

"This growth is echoed through the Challenge Family series of events. There are now 12 races in the series (Wanaka was the first outside Challenge Roth, Germany), including another one in the Southern Hemisphere, Australia’s Challenge Cairns, which will take place for the first time next June."

Challenge Wanaka is the flagship event in the week-long triathlon festival from 9-15 January that also includes the Puzzling World Junior Challenge Wanaka, the Radio Wanaka 5K Charity Fun Run and the Contract Tri Series that attracts some of New Zealand’s biggest names in short course triathlon, including former world champion, Samantha Warriner.

On 15 January the world’s elite will compete at Challenge Wanaka alongside thousands of age group athletes of all abilities, supported by over 650 volunteers and several thousand spectators.

Challenge Wanaka has been voted one of the top 10 most scenic races in the world by America’s Triathlon Magazine. The event kicks off at 06.30 local time on Saturday 15 January 2011.