Day two of the 13th Challenge Wanaka Triathlon Festival saw 1000 young triathletes race against their friends and have fun in Wanaka, New Zealand. Children from 5 to 10 years old raced a variety of distances and were cheered on by family, friends and the Wanaka community.
The Challenge Wanaka team adds that it works closely with local schools and the sports community to nurture young athletes and inspire the next generation of triathletes.
Challenge Wanaka Ambassador and professional kiwi triathlete Dylan McNeice was on hand to give them some encouragement, saying “It is just awesome to get the kids involved and for us to see that maybe we are helping to inspire the younger generation. Wanaka is stunning! When I come here from Christchurch I feel the energy as soon as I get into town. It’s beautiful and just a cool place to race.”
On Thursday 14 February the triathlon festival started with the new event, the Puzzling World Intermediate Challenge for ages 11 and 12. This was then followed by the hotly contested Mitre 10 Secondary Schools Otago Champs.
The Intermediate Challenge was brought in to bridge the gap between junior racing and the step up into the Secondary School competition and Half distance for adults. There were 85 children competing in the Intermediate Challenge and 280 in the Secondary Schools competition.
“We have had some great feedback from the children and parents about the new Intermediate event and look forward to growing it for next year,” said Bill Roxburgh, Race Director.
Saturday 16 Feb sees the centrepiece event for the festival, the Challenge Wanaka Half and National Aquabike Championships. Over 1,100 competitors will be out on the tough yet scenic course and some of the world’s best professional athletes will be competing for the top spot.