30 Dec Lake Wanaka Tourism goes the full distance for Challenge Wanaka
Lake Wanaka Tourism’s team is upping its game ahead of January’s Challenge Wanaka Triathlon Festival by entering the full distance race for the first time.
The local Regional Tourism Organisation (RTO) has previously entered the Lake Wanaka Half every year since the first half-distance event was staged in 2010. Earlier this year it achieved its best ever result, winning the mixed team category with its ‘elite’ squad while its B-team took out fourth place.
The 2014 Lake Wanaka Tourism team comprises Susan ‘Torpedo’ Helmore (wife of general manager James Helmore) who will complete the 3.8km swim before handing over to business development executive, Geoff ‘Onya’ Marks for the 180km bike leg with James ‘Halberg’ Helmore aiming to bring the team home in style with his first ever marathon run.
Mr Helmore said moving up to the full distance was only a matter of time given Lake Wanaka Tourism’s long-term support of the event.
“We’ve been talking about it for years so it was time to put up or shut up. Geoff tried his best to get out of it by booking annual leave in the last three weeks of December for a North Island road trip, but we’ve made sure he rides his bike between night stops while his wife drives the car!
“We’re delighted to support Challenge Wanaka every year both in terms of marketing support and participation. It’s a major event for the region drawing in thousands of competitors plus their support crews which brings millions of dollars to the local economy. With its strong community involvement, it’s always an awesome event to be a part of,” he said.
Asked why online executive, Tess Hellebrekkers and new media and content executive, Carla Munro were not competing Mr Helmore said: “Every team needs a strong support crew but we’ll be looking closely at the squad makeup for 2015!”
Challenge Wanaka Triathlon Festival attracts in excess of 2,000 athletes over a multi-day celebration of sport involving all ages and abilities. The flagship event, Challenge Wanaka long distance triathlon (3.8km/180km/42.2km) is part of the renowned Challenge Family global series of triathlons which features 22 races in 14 countries, including the world’s largest long distance triathlon, Challenge Roth in Germany.