Novices invited to discover world of triathlon

Rotorua locals interested in competing in a triathlon can do so this month at Lake Tikitapu (Blue Lake).

The Rotorua Association of Triathletes and Multisport (Rats) is launching its aquathon season, with a beginner's night. It will be a casual session, featuring everything you need to know about open water swimming, and the chance to talk to members about everything else triathlon.

Rats was named Club of the Year by governing body Triathlon New Zealand in 2011 for its friendliness and family environment. The club has continued in this vein, with more than 300 financial members in the past year and attendance at the recent World Triathlon Championships in Auckland.

"But you don't have to be the fastest and best at swimming, cycling and running to be a member," president Nina Dobson said.

"We have members who don't compete, members who only participate in either swimming, cycling or running, as well as those who are among the best in their age groups in New Zealand and the world."

The session starts at 6pm at the Waterski Club end of the lake. There will be kayak support for those swimming and novice swimmers can swim along the shore line in the passive lane if they don't want to go out too deep.

Rats holds fortnightly aquathons - a swim followed by a run - aimed at adults and children. The alternate Mondays are an open water swim session for members to swim as far as they wish.

It is about 1.5km to the far end of the passive lane.

The club runs a variety of training sessions and events throughout the year, including club championships in both triathlon and multisport, Christmas function, club lunches at well-attended events and run clinics.

"If you have a question but have been too afraid to ask before, then this is your opportunity," Dobson said.

"You can have a quiet chat with any of the members who will be there and they will be happy to share any tips, and negate any fears. We have all been new to triathlon."

The Beginners Night is at Tikitapu (Blue Lake) on Monday, November 19 from 6pm.


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