Challenge Wanaka to host New Zealand Ultra Distance National Championships

Challenge Wanaka to host New Zealand Ultra Distance National Championships

Challenge Wanaka announced today it has been awarded National Championship status by Triathlon New Zealand and will host the 2016 New Zealand Ultra Distance Championships at its 10th anniversary event on 20 February.

Internationally renowned as the world’s most scenic long distance triathlon, Challenge Wanaka will now also provide New Zealanders with the opportunity to become overall and age group national champions over the 226km distance – 3.8km swim, 180km bike and 42.2km run.

“We’re very excited to host the national championships and play a part in the continued development of triathlon in New Zealand, working closely alongside Tri NZ,” said Challenge Wanaka race director, Victoria Murray-Orr. “Challenge Wanaka has 10 years of world-class event delivery behind it and is a true celebration of sport involving over 2,000 people of all ages and abilities. To now be able to extend this further and have the honour of awarding national championship titles to Challenge Wanaka athletes is a fantastic way to celebrate our 10th anniversary.”

“We are delighted to allocate the national title to Challenge Wanaka,” said Tri NZ CEO Craig Waugh. “Every Tri NZ national championship event over any distance must be that extra bit special and Challenge Wanaka is certainly that. Athletes know they can enter a safe and professionally run event in a truly stunning location. A national championship event should elevate the experience and having attended Challenge Wanaka and had an association in the past with our national Tri series event, I know many will be booking their flights and accommodation and planning their training towards next February, chasing national championship medals.”

Triathlon New Zealand also factored in the South Island location when making the decision, with Sovereign Kinloch hosting the sprint nationals, Sovereign Wellington the standard nationals and Port of Tauranga Half the New Zealand Long Distance Championships, Tri NZ felt it was important to include the South Island in the national championship rotations.

Part of the global Challenge Family series of triathlons, Challenge Wanaka is based in New Zealand’s Southern Alps with a course surrounded by the Te Wahipounamu World Heritage Area. Each February it attracts athletes from around the world to take on its tough, honest course and enjoy the spectacular scenery including many of the world’s top professional athletes competing for the $80,000 prize purse.

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