The serious injuries sustained by Mount Maunganui Senior Sergeant Deirdre Lack and 5-year-old Aiden Lints have inspired Western Bay emergency service staff to raise money to support youth victims of road trauma in the Western Bay.
About 60 police, firefighters, paramedics and hospital staff are expected to take part in the race which starts at Pilot Bay at 2pm today.
Event organiser Constable Tawhai Schuster said this year's race followed on from one held three years ago to support Ms Lack who was hospitalised for 10 weeks after a 20-year-old man fell asleep at the wheel of his car and smashed into her vehicle early on the morning of December 22, 2010.
The event was so successful it is back this year at the request of emergency service staff.
Mrs Schuster said it was Aiden that convinced her to go ahead with organising the race.
On the way home from a Family picnic in Whakatane on March 9, 2012, Aiden was placed in the middle seat of the car, in a half booster seat, secured by a lap belt. When their 4WD and a van collided head-on at the intersection of SH2 and SH33 near Paengaroa, Aiden's leg was broken and spinal cord damaged badly, with the prognosis that he would be in a wheelchair for the rest of his life. He can now walk short distances with the help of splints and a walking frame.
"When I met him I felt there was a need for us to continue with this triathlon for the some sort of cause. All Aiden Lints ever wanted to be was a police man," Mrs Schuster said. "It's appropriate he's going to start the race for us. He's also going to be a judge for the costumes."
Entrants would compete in teams of three with prizes for the best dressed, best team name and best pimped up ride.
Mrs Schuster said the aim was to raise money and awareness of kids injured in road crashes.
"We all deal with car accidents and road traumas initially.
"We're usually the first there. What the public don't know is that's out job and we just deal with it. This is our way of dealing with quite a traumatic thing in our every day duty in a positive way," she said. "For me we never forget a serious car accident. It stays with you for life."
Ms Lack, a keen triathlete, said she was looking forward to taking part in the race.
Money raised from the event will go to Blue Light to distribute to victims as needed.