They're come by planes, trains, and automobiles...and even electric bikes to attend the 30th Anniversary Downer New Zealand Masters Games, starting in Whanganui tomorrow.

With the opening ceremony at Majestic Square early Friday evening, the sports action will precede the welcoming as the three-day cycling module begins with the 20km Road Time Trial, starting at the Somme Parade Cemetery at 2pm.

The Road Trial will be followed by the Hill Climb from Okoia Hall and the Track racing at the Velodrome on Saturday, while the 44-66km Road Race will be on Brunswick Rd this Sunday.

There will be over 50 sports in various divisions contested over the next 10 days, the highlights of this coming weekend including touch, basketball, six-a-side football, athletics and triathlon.


In a change from the last games at Whanganui, the duathlon will be held after the triathlon, in a super sprint format on Wednesday.

The triathlon welcomes competitions in 12 age grades and three team grades – same gender or mixed, and consists of a 750m river swim, 24km road cycle, and 5km road run.

It will start from the traditional base at the Whanganui Multisport and Triathlon Club Rooms on Anzac Parade at 11am on Saturday.

Cooks Gardens will be a hive of activity for three days with the athletics module.

Starting from 9am on Saturday, first day events will be discus, long jump, shotput, 400m, 1 mile, 100m, and the 3km walk.

Happy to be among them will be retired accountant and self-titled "serial adventurer" Graham McCready, who took an extraordinary journey to get to Whanganui by taking a train from Hamilton and then making a two-day journey from Ohakune on his electric pedal bike.

Graham McCready will compete in the athletics events.
Graham McCready will compete in the athletics events.

McCready is better known in New Zealand for taking out successful private prosecutions against politicians Trevor Mallard in 2007 and John Banks in 2014, the latter of which was later set aside on appeal and eventually quashed.

But these days McCready, who has 35 per cent disability in his hips and knee, pursues sports and exercise with the most passion.


He biked from Okakune to Raetihi, then down to lodge at Kakatahi for another night, before coming into Whanganui yesterday when the 'Gentle Annie' proved a bit tough for the e-bike but a friendly motorist gave him a lift with his ute.

McCready will compete in the 70-74 age group for shotput, discus, javelin and hammer throw.

When finished, he will bike to Bulls and make a crossing of the Tararua Range, before heading to Palmerston North to catch the train home, and then in June is undertaking a world trip to eventually reach the European Masters Games, being held in Turin, Italy that July.

"You just keep on going, that's the message I carry to people," McCready said of how Masters Games motivates him.

He had entered the 2017 World Masters Games in Auckland with no real background in training, and the man who won the world title in shotput was kind enough to coach him on the day.

"You're here, one of us and this is how you can improve. You're welcomed."

McCready laughed that another Australian competitor had then started giving him a lecture on the rules.

"I asked him if that meant you can throw it underarm and he said 'no'. Message received."