Most Australians would be unfamiliar with the Taranaki region on the west coast of New Zealand’s North Island. New Plymouth, the main city in Taranaki, is an outdoor playground located between the foot of Mt Taranaki (formerly Mt Egmont) and the amazing black sand beaches along its coast. The greater region of New Plymouth has a population of 68,000 and has many natural wonders such as the massive Pukekura Park (128 acres) in the middle of the city and the Waiwhakaiho River amongst many amazing natural wonders.
The international award-winning waterfront of New Plymouth, in the Taranaki region of New Zealand, is home to a unique and scenic Half Iron Distance event every summer that’s well worth checking out.
Entry before 18 Jan, 2013 is only NZ$190 (AUD$149 as at 9/7/12). This has to be one of the best value entries around. (race website)
The event is held at Port Taranaki and with a high tide expected next year, the inner harbour swim will be a real highlight of the event for participants and spectators alike. Add to the mix a testing bike ride out and back on scenic Surf Highway 45, and a final run encompassing New Plymouth’s world class coastal walkway and you can see why the event has become so popular with Kiwi competitors.
â€œ2013 will be our third event, and the previous two have really bedded in the event’s infrastructure and support,â€ says race director Selwyn Brown, whose background in World Cup Tri events and major cycle races has helped ensure this event’s success.
â€œWe’re really buzzing about the 2013 event, and it’s looking to grow a lot from previous years,â€ Selwyn says.
One fan of the event is German triathletes Franz-josef Luerken, whose holiday plans happened to coincide with the New Plymouth event.
â€œThis event was planned as a holiday experience for me but ended as one of the most memorable events I have taken part in, and I’ve done a lot of triathlons over the last 18 years!â€
The winner of the 2012 event, Brodie Madgwick, is another fan.
“It’s a fantastic event. This race doesn’t skip a beat, everything is well thought out and it’s well run. And it’s a beautiful part of the country, I love coming here.”
On the day there is also an accompanying half marathon and 7km walk/run which is held on the same run course as the main event. All participants finish before the runners from the Wells Half Iron Distance start the final leg of the half iron distance.
â€œIt’s a really scenic part of New Zealand â€“ a swim in a clean harbour, a cycle leg with a mountain on one side and a sparkling coast on the other, and then a waterfront run course. It’s just a lot of fun to put on, with really great community support,â€ Selwyn says.
To see more of the Taranaki region, visit www.taranaki.info.