After the launch of Ironman 70.3 Auckland we have been keeping a closer eye on the long course triathlons in NZ. There is one iron distance race and thee half iron distance races in the space of four weeks. Tough if you are a Kiwi triathlete that would like to compete in a few long course races over the season. One thing we had noticed is the entry numbers for Wanaka are very strong and have grown significantly since the last race. Auckland on the same weekend is tough, tough for both companies who are trying to run profitable races and also the competitors who have to choose between the two rather than have the opportunity to race both spectacular races. A holiday in Wanaka in January does sound more appealing but running through the Auckland crowds has an appeal as well.
Still with the announcment of Auckland New Zealand’s Challenge Wanaka looks like it is on track for its largest field ever on 19 January 2013 with over 1,100 athletes already registered across both the half and full distances.
We had a quick chat with Challenge Wanaka race director, Victoria Murray-Orr to see how the event is progressing since the Auckland 70.3 announcement.
“A surge of entries at the 31 July price cut off saw Lake Wanaka Half team entries reach capacity and Challenge Wanaka individuals exceed 2012 start line numbers. Challenge Wanaka team entries have also exceeded 2012 start line numbers and Lake Wanaka Half individual entries are up 15% on the same time last year.” Entries remain open until 30 November 2012.
There is no doubt that Challenge Wanaka’s South Island setting on the edge of the Te Wahipounamu World Heritage Area and unique Challenge Family atmosphere has played a huge role in the surge of entries. One thing you are encouraged to do is to run down the finish shute with your family and friends who have played such a big part in your race.
Challenge Wanaka has become one of New Zealand’s iconic races. “There’s no other race in New Zealand that is internationally renowned for its spectacular course on the edge of a World Heritage Area. The swim in the crystal clear alpine lake surrounded by mountains, an honest and testing bike course and a marathon that is rated by athletes as one of the best in the world.”
Challenge Wanaka is part of the Challenge Family global series of long distance triathlons that currently features 11 races throughout Europe and Australasia. While part of the Challenge Family series, Challenge Wanaka is run by a non-profit charitable trust, reinvesting in the local community and the growth of the sport.