Port of Tauranga Half Triathlon

They've ordered 3000 bananas, brought in 1.5km of road barriers, de-fizzed 1000 litres of soft drink and recruited 360 volunteers.
Now all the organisers of the Port of Tauranga Half Triathlon are waiting for is the event's 1250 competitors and the thousands of spectators expected to line the streets of Mount Maunganui tomorrow.
Three large tents and two grandstands have been set up along Pilot Bay, which by this afternoon is expected to be swarming with competitors registering for the milestone race. The action begins at 6.30am tomorrow, with the start of the men's and women's Elite race at Pilot Bay, but race director Jane Patterson is urging spectators to arrive as early as they can to allow for heavy traffic delays.
Ms Patterson expected up to 50 per cent of those watching the race would be holidaymakers, many of them passengers from the Dawn Princess cruise ship, which pulls into port at 6.30am tomorrow.
She said hotels began steadily filling up yesterday and the annual influx of cars carrying bicycles was noticeable from the start of the week.
For Ms Patterson, the event will be the culmination of 11 months of meticulous planning, with the logistics involving everything from removing the caps on hundreds of bottles of soft drink for competitors to arranging a sports expo for 10 exhibitors at Pilot Bay.
Sport Bay of Plenty said the success of the event was also largely due to support from the local community of Mount Maunganui and Papamoa.
"We are indebted to the residents and businesses on the course who are inconvenienced with the road restrictions on race day. Those restrictions are absolutely vital to the safe running and success of this event, and so it's comforting for those residents to know that the city is benefiting from their support."
Sport Bay of Plenty CEO Wayne Werder said additionally that the event stands self-sufficient in 2011 without any ratepayer funding from Tauranga City Council.
CATCH THE ACTION
Pilot Bay: The start and end point of the race will guarantee memorable moments for even the most casual spectators.


Prince Ave: Watching hundreds of cyclists fly by at this key turn in the circuit should prove a spectacular sight.
Tay St: Head to the corner of Tay St and Marine Pde to see some cycling action, and stay until the runners turn for home there.
Cafe corner: Relax over a cup of coffee while enjoying one of the best vantage points of the race.
Adams Ave: The Pilot Bay boat ramp is another top spot, and just a short walk from the finish line.
ROAD CLOSURES

The Mall from Prince Ave to Salisbury Ave (including the Salisbury wharf carpark) is closed today, re-opening 5pm tomorrow.
Salisbury Ave, The Mall, Adams Ave, Marine Pde, Oceanbeach Rd, and Maranui St from Yale St to Sunrise Ave will be closed from 6am until 2pm tomorrow, while road restrictions tomorrow on Maranui St, Papamoa Beach Rd and Parton Rd, expected to be cleared by 11.30am, may also create delays.

- BAY OF PLENTY TIMES

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