Despite fears possible contamination at Pandora Pond could affect this year's Tremains Triathlon, the event went off as planned yesterday.

Looming wet weather didn't bring "nearly as much" rain as first expected, meaning the pond was open for use.

Last year the triathlon organisers, Tremains Real Estate and Triathlon Hawke's Bay, decided to replace the swim/kayak and stand-up paddle board leg of the triathlon with a 2km run/walk.

Tremains managing director Simon Tremain said they were "lucky" this year's event all went to plan.

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"If you take that swimming part out, it is a real let-down to competitors, so it was awesome that it all worked well," he said.

Nearly 500 people swam, ran or cycled their way around Napier.

Crowds gathered in Pandora yesterday morning when the race began, with competitors taking to the waters of Pandora Pond. While some stuck to the traditional 600m swim or 1700m kayak, others enjoyed the new category of 1300m stand-up paddling.

Cheered on by spectators, competitors then ran or walked a scenic 5km, with a 21km bike ride as the final leg.

The triathlon has been running since 1994. However, this year's 156 teams and 460 participants were down slightly on previous years, Tremain said.

"It is one of those events that has been running for a long time and I would just encourage businesses of Hawke's Bay to put it in their corporate calendar because it is a lot of fun for everyone."

Silver Fern Farms had the highest number of teams at 18, with Tremains four behind at 14.

"From an internal perspective our teams get right into it. Some of our staff are not as youthful any longer so we are trying to encourage them to bring in their families and their kids. We are really pleased to get those team numbers for Tremains."

Fog meant Tremain, who flew back from commitments in Auckland yesterday morning, missed the start of the triathlon.

"They subbed in one of the best kayakers in Hawke's Bay, Shane Bennett, who took my spot and won the kayak so I don't think I would have done that."

Tremains said it was too soon to know how much the event had raised but it would be going back into "our community through Triathlon Hawke's Bay".