Taranaki is set to host hundreds of the best athletes from across New Zealand next year.
New Plymouth has won the hosting rights for The National Sprint Triathlon Championships, which will join the New Plymouth ITU Triathlon World Cup race and the WIL Sport NZ Schools Triathlon Championships at Ngamotu Beach next March.
The national championships have been held in Kinloch, Lake Taupo for many years and interim CEO of Triathlon New Zealand Jen Gregory says Taranaki is a great new choice for the event.
“Taranaki is a location that is a favourite for athletes and spectators across the country for its environment and hospitality,” Gregory says.
The move is a significant win for Taranaki and a testament to the warm community welcome that New Plymouth has consistently delivered at triathlon events, including the Taranaki Tri Festival.
“In awarding the event to New Plymouth we are enabling age group athletes to race their national championships on a stunning and challenging course, delivered by a team that consistently delivers world class events,” Gregory says.
The new addition to the festival has been welcomed by the region’s economic development agency Venture Taranaki as a fantastic addition to an already action-packed triathlon event.
Venture Taranaki chief executive Justine Gilliland says it is a great opportunity to showcase all that Taranaki offers.
“Taranaki welcomes this exciting event, with its competitors ranging from school kids to some of the world’s best triathletes,” she says.
“As well as inspiring racers of all ages to train and race alongside a world-cup event, it gives a taste of what it’s like to compete at the top level, right here in Taranaki.”
More than 500 athletes from across the country will descend on New Plymouth to swim, bike and run for the events, which also include the Taranaki Tri-er and the Mellowpuff Trust Fun-run.
Event director Shanelle Barrett says spectator entry for the day is free.
“It is important that spectators can watch all of the events, free of charge, which helps create an amazing atmosphere on race day. I am sure we will see that extended to the Tri NZ National Sprint Triathlon Championships as well as the ITU Triathlon World Cup races,” she says.
“This event is about the community, with the athletes immersing themselves in the local region and many of them taking up the offer of homestay accommodation to enjoy the hospitality of the locals with some having been with the same families for years,” she says.
Taranaki Tri Festival is made possible thanks to the support of Venture Taranaki, TSB Community Trust, WIL Sport, Port Taranaki, Sport Taranaki, Plymouth International and the wider community of Taranaki.
- Entries are open now for all events at the Taranaki Tri Festival, held in New Plymouth at Ngamotu Beach on Sunday March 29, 2020. Visit www.taranakitrifestival.nz for more information.