RunningTP23022021.JPG You can walk, run or mountain bike the Triple Peaks course. Photo / Supplied
By Louise Gould
One of Hawke's Bay's most challenging events, the Triple Peaks, will be taking place this Saturday with over 650 competitors, despite last week's Covid-19 level 2 scare.
Event directors Richard Mills and Emma Buttle said the announcement to move the region back into level one came as a huge relief after the "mammoth" amount of work that has gone in to preparing for their 33rd annual event.
"The uncertainty around Covid-19 has introduced a widely unpredictable challenge for event organisers," Mills said.
He said MCL Triple Peaks is an important fundraiser for Te Mata Park and it would have been a huge disappointment if it couldn't go ahead.
"At this stage, it's all systems go and we are looking forward to an excellent day," he said. "The weather forecast is ideal, with some cloud cover and a gentle breeze."
Competitors can walk, run or mountain bike the course which consists of traversing Mt Erin, Mt Kahuranaki and the iconic Te Mata Peak, and crossing private land whilst looking over Hawke's Bay's scenery.
There's a choice of going solo and embarking on climbing all three peaks (55km), just Mt Erin and Mt Kahuranaki (37km) or exploring Mt Erin only (15km).
Triathlete Bridget Lodge, who will be mountain biking this year, said Triple Peaks should be on the event calendar for all mountain bikers and runners, "from weekend warriors to competitive level."
Teams can also be entered and compete in a relay format.
Buttle said many of the competitors have chosen to enter as a relay team.
"Numbers are well up on last year, we are currently at 650 people, however, there is always a last minute 'flurry' as people wait for the weather forecast," she said.
There is also $7000 worth of prize money for solo runners and mountain bikers who place on February 27.
First place for the men's and women's category will receive $1000, second place $500 and third place $250.
Buttle said several high profile runners and mountain bikers have signed up for a chance to win the big bucks at Triple Peaks.
"The $7,000 in prize money for the 2021 event is proving to be a great drawcard - thanks to our sponsors," Buttle said.
The proceeds of the event will be going to Te Mata Park to help with purchasing more native trees for the Park.
Online entries close at midnight on Wednesday, February 24 - www.triplepeaks.co.nz
All entrants receive a Finisher's Medal, a complimentary glass of GIANT Brewing beer (over 18 only) and can enjoy live music during the course and at the event village.
There will also be a kid's bike skills course, face painting and food stalls at the finish line at the Havelock North Village Green.