Big field ensures Wild Kiwi success

By Kristin Edge

Add a comment
Competitors and supporters gather before the start of the Wild Kiwi race. Photo / Tania Wyhte
Competitors and supporters gather before the start of the Wild Kiwi race. Photo / Tania Wyhte

Whangarei Heads could become the next big venue for multi-sport racing after 700 Wild Kiwi athletes paddled, biked and ran their way through the inaugural event.

Organisers found themselves overwhelmed with the response after initially anticipating 500 entries.

Event director Michael Davis said the response had been one of the best in the history of event promoter Total Sport's portfolio.

Estelle Plowright, 127, digs deep at the start of the kayak stage. Photo / Tania Wyhte
Estelle Plowright, 127, digs deep at the start of the kayak stage. Photo / Tania Wyhte

The main multi-sport race involved a 12km sea kayak, followed by a 25km mountain bike course, and a 14km run.

There were also various trail runs for runners and walkers, and a 3km option for kids.

The inaugural event was staged across four private farms - the largest being that of Taurikura farmer Murray Jagger, who was a member of the winning team.

For Mr Davis, Saturday's race was the culmination of two years of hard work.

"Part of the reason for having this event was to showcase our special little patch of paradise. The feedback we have had so far is people are already looking forward to coming back.

"It was a tough course and not easy. There were plenty of steps but the views along the coastline were well worth it."

Overwhelming support from local competitors and volunteers had ensured the success of the event.

"We had volunteers queuing up to help us out, we had to turn some away. Some of the jobs weren't that glamorous but made the event run and helped with the overall success."

The kayak stage was a loop along the coast starting from Taurikura. The bike stage was over farmland with a demanding climb, and the run was on the Bream Head trail.

Andrew Haglund and Pieter Serfontein prepare their kayaks for the first leg. Photo / Tania Wyhte
Andrew Haglund and Pieter Serfontein prepare their kayaks for the first leg. Photo / Tania Wyhte

Conditions were overcast and winds made the kayak stage slightly choppy. A strong gust blew over the registration tent at one stage.

Mr Davis said the biggest reward was seeing competitors come across the finish line.

"Seeing the reactions as people finished and seeing them pull it off was so rewarding."

The organisers have been granted a 10-year concession to run the event at Whangarei Heads.

Some of the money raised by the event will be given to Bream Head Conservation Trust and Whangarei Heads School, for their help.

- Northern Advocate

Get the news delivered straight to your inbox

Receive the day’s news, sport and entertainment in our daily email newsletter

SIGN UP NOW

Have your say

1200 characters left

By and large our readers' comments are respectful and courteous. We're sure you'll fit in well.
View commenting guidelines.

© Copyright 2017, NZME. Publishing Limited

Assembled by: (static) on production bpcf04 at 25 Apr 2017 10:03:39 Processing Time: 501ms