Spectators and competitors were treated to some scintillating action at last year's Blue Lake Multisport Festival when some of New Zealand's most promising young triathletes showed up to compete. The 2020 edition of the event could be even better.
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When it comes to being crowned King or Queen of the Lake at the Blue Lake Multisport Festival, consistency is key.
Athletes competing in the series, being held this weekend, race in the Go Physio Aquathon (5.5km forest run and 800m swim) and the Swim T3 2km open water swim on Saturday before the grand finale on Sunday - the Cyclezone Sprint Triathlon (750m swim, 16km cycle, 5.5km run). Whoever collects the most points from placings throughout the weekend's events claims the title.
Last year, Gisborne's Tayler Reid won the King of the Lake crown, finishing first in the two Saturday events and third in the sprint triathlon. That came on the back of a year in which he claimed bronze in the mixed relay at the Commonwealth Games and gold at the under-23 world championships. He will be back again this year to defend his title.
Auckland's Ainsley Thorpe, Reid's teammate at the World Triathlon Championships last year, won the 2019 Queen of the Lake title with consistent placings throughout, finishing second, third and first in the three events respectively. She has also entered to defend her title.
Thorpe said the event was a good way to get some practice racing in ahead of what was expected to be a busy year but she was looking forward to attempting to defend her title.
"Last year was my first time competing, for me it's a good training weekend because we haven't raced for awhile so it's good to get some racing under our belts before we go into our season racing overseas.
"It's good having the three different events, we never do a run-swim so that's quite different for us. It would be cool to come back and get Queen of the Lake again, hopefully the body recovers well by the end of the week."
The 21-year-old is aiming to compete at the Oceania Triathlon Championships in Devonport at the end of February before heading to Abu Dhabi for the first World Triathlon Series race. The ultimate goal is to qualify for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
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"Training has been pretty consistent and full on, I'm starting to get into harder sessions, we want to peak for March so there long, hard training sessions now."
Blue Lake Multisport Festival event director Karen Shaw said the quality of athletes attending was getting stronger each year.
"It's an awesome place to come and have a shootout. We've also got most of the youth high performance team coming because they're doing a camp around the Blue Lake as well. They actually support at the kids' triathlon on Saturday morning before and after their events. It's really good for them to have that involvement.
"I think being a series and how we space it out over the weekend makes it more appealing as well, they can get a feel it - both the young people and those who are more experienced."
She said consistency was crucial for those wanting to do well in the series.
"They need to be strong in everything."
Blue Lake Multisport Festival Schedule
8.30am: Go Physio Aquathon.
11am: LumberJax Mini Golf Kids Triathlon.
4pm – Swim T3 Open Water Swim (2km + 750m).
8.30am: Cyclezone Sprint Triathlon.
8.30am: Running on Oils Offroad Fun Run and Walk.
8.35 am – ZeroTwenty2 SportsCo Tikitapu Taster Tri.