A-Z Guide

Here’s a run down of FAQs from A to Z on key elements of the Challenge Wanaka Triathlon Festival:


Accommodation – Challenge Wanaka has a number of accommodation partners. Stay the night and enjoy the finish-line party and fireworks at midnight. Click here for more information

Aid Stations – there are nine aid stations on the bike course (every 20km) and seven on the run course (every 3km). Athletes use these to refuel on their long journey with water, electrolyte drink and gels, bananas, coke

Arthritis New Zealand – one of our two official charities. You can donate to our charities through our online entry system. Read more about them here.

Athletes – you can find an athlete list at the information desk in the Health & Lifestyle Expo plus volunteers will be handing them out at the finish line area.


Bags – each athlete has three transition bags which they use to store their clothing and footwear to change into during the race

Bike Course – the Challenge Wanaka Full bike course is 180km and the Challenge Wanaka Half course is 90km long. Both head out towards Mt Aspiring National Park before heading back through the town centre and out Lake Hawea, through Hawea Flat, crossing the Clutha River at the Red Bridge to Luggate. Before heading back into Wanaka where the Half finishes and Challenge Wanaka heads out for a second lap. Click these links to see interactive course maps for Challenge Wanaka Full and Challenge Wanaka Half


Contact – if you have any questions regarding Challenge Wanaka, just email us at [email protected]

Challenge Family – Challenge Wanaka is part of the global Challenge Family series of triathlons and is one of 44 events around the world. Other Challenge Family races take place in Germany, Austria, Bahrain, Oman, Dubai, Canada, UK, France, Spain, Holland, Italy, Denmark, New Zealand, Australia, Thailand, Taiwan, Mexico, Brazil and USA with more planned for 2015 and beyond. To find out more visit www.challenge-family.com

Corporate Trophy – There are now corporate team divisions in both the Half and Full distance races, where companies or organisations can race against each other. Full details here.

Course Records – Challenge Wanaka

8:26:38 – Dougal Allan (NZL) 2017
9:15:44 – Yvonne van Vlerken (NED) 2017

45:33 – Dylan McNeice (NZL) 2015
50:01 – Gina Crawford (NZL) 2008

4:27:37 – Dougal Allan (NZL) 2017
4:58:58 – Laura Siddall (GBR) 2017

2:48:04 – Marc Pschebizin (GER) 2008
3:08:49 – Rebekah Keat (AUS) 2010

Course Records – Challenge Wanaka Half (formerly the Lake Wanaka Half)
Overall – 4:17:37 – Braden Currie (NZL) 2012
4:44:08 – Britta Martin (GER) 2011

Swim – 24:28 – Steven Kennedy (NZL) 2015
26.28 – Lydia Kennedy (NZL) 2015

Bike – 2:20:37 – Matt Randall (NZL) 2013
2:38:46 – Jess Simson (NZL) 2015

Run – 1:20:44 – Bevan James Eyles (NZL) 2010
1:31:33 – Hannah Lawrence (NZL) 2012


Drug Testing – every year Challenge Wanaka works with Drug Free Sport New Zealand to ensure triathlon is a fair sport with random tests throughout the field


Expo – located down at Race Central from Thursday, our Health & Lifestyle Expo is the perfect chance to do some shopping, buy some souvenirs and grab a bite to eat any time between 9:00am and 6:00pm Thursday and Friday and until 2pm on Race day. On race day there’s also a bouncy castle to keep the kids entertained

Entries – a 2018 start list will be posted here in February 2018


Finish Line Party – celebrate the amazing achievements of these remarkable athletes. The party with music and fireworks goes on into the night until the course closes at 11.30pm


Gunn Road – the now infamous hill on the run course – it’s short and sharp and a great place to cheer athletes on as they use all their strength to get to the top


Help – athletes are not allowed to receive any outside help during the race. However, they are well looked after by the hundreds of volunteers and race officials


International – athletes travel from all over the world to take part in the most scenic long distance triathlon on the global circuit – over 30 countries are represented and 35% of the field come from overseas


Junior – even the kids are catered for with Puzzling World Junior Challenge Wanaka on the Saturday before the main event. All budding triathletes aged between 6 and 12 are welcome!


Kilometres – athletes will travel 226km in total for Challenge Wanaka Full and 113km for the Challenge Wanaka Half


Lakes – Challenge Wanaka course takes in two of the region’s most beautiful lakes – Lake Wanaka and Lake Hawea

Live Coverage – if you can’t be in Wanaka, check out the race coverage on the website or via our SmartPhone app for Android and iPhone


Massage – every full distance Challenge Wanaka athlete enjoys a well-earned massage at the end of the race. Half distance athletes can also enjoy this experience for just $10 for 10 minutes.

Music – listen out for the special Challenge Family song throughout the day or watch the video here

Map – you can find a map of the course here on our website, at most Wanaka stores and at the information stand in the Expo


Numbers – every athletes has their name printed on their race number. Make sure you shout out their name as they go past, it gives them a huge boost (even if they look a little surprised at the time!)


Organisation – Challenge Wanaka is a charitable trust run by a volunteer board of trustees and a management team of dedicated individuals, all of whom are passionate about delivery the best long distance event for athletes and spectators in New Zealand


Parking – additional parking is available on Pembroke Park.

PhotographsMarathon-Photos.com is the official photographer of Challenge Wanaka. Photos are available to order online here.

Prize Money – professional athletes in the Half distance race are competing for a share of a NZ$25,000 prize pool


Race Manuals – 2018 Race Manuals can be found on the Challenge Wanaka and Challenge Wanaka Half pages.

Relay Teams – both the Challenge Wanaka Full and Half races are open to relay teams of two or three people

Results – are available on our home page immediately following the race

Road closures – for road closures click here

Roth – home to the first ever Challenge event, Challenge Roth – the largest iron distance race in the world with over 5,200 athletes, 220,000 spectators and 5,500 volunteers. Wow!

Run Course – Challenge Wanaka Full athletes run a two lap course and Challenge Wanaka Half athletes a one lap course which, from the centre of town, follows the edge of Lake Wanaka, along the Clutha River Outlet Track, up Gunn Road, down Aubrey Road, Beacon Point Road, Waimana Place before returning to town and finish line along the lake front.


Sponsorswe have an ever-growing list of awesome sponsors who help us deliver the event. Click here to see the full list and please support them whenever you can


Swim Course – in the crystal clear waters of Lake Wanaka. Two laps for Full athletes and one for Half athletes

Swim Start – one of the highlights of the day! The early morning start is packed full of excitement and emotion as athletes and spectators prepare for the big day ahead


Transition – a great place to watch the athletes as they switch from swim to bike to run

Toilets – there are public toilets on Pembroke Park and in the lakefront car park by the Log Cabin and jetty

Timetable – click here to see a timetable of events through the week of the Challenge Wanaka Triathlon Festival

Te Kakano – one of our two official charities. You can donate to our charities through our online entry system. Read more about them here.


Volunteers – over 650 amazing volunteers help every year to ensure the smooth running of the event and look after the athletes out on course. That’s the equivalent of around 10% of the town’s population – an awesome effort by the local community and other supporters of the race. Thank you all!


Wetsuits – wetsuits are compulsory at Challenge Wanaka due to the temperature of the lake which is usually about 17C on race day although it can be as low as 14C or as high as 20C