Familiar face at Challenge helm
Challenge Wanaka race director Bill Roxburgh can’t believe his luck scoring a new job with the long distance triathlon.
Roxburgh, 58, took over from former race director Victoria Murray-Orr in April and is now putting together his team for February’s Challenge Wanaka Festival. The triathlon enthusiast lives at Pisa Moorings, near Cromwell, with his wife Marie.
‘‘I love working with positive people. I can’t believe what I am doing for a job. It is great,’’ he said.
Both Roxburghs are life members of the Southland Triathlon and Multisport Club and have been involved with Challenge Wanaka in some shape or form since it began 10 years ago.
Roxburgh has a lot on his plate in the build up to Challenge Wanaka, as he also has an operations job with Richard Ussher’s Coast to Coast event management team. That race is the weekend before Challenge Wanaka.
Roxburgh organised the Challenge Wanaka swim leg in 2007 and 2008 before handing over to his wife so he could compete instead. He then directed the Lake Wanaka Half, now rebranded the Challenge Wanaka Half from 2011-2016.
Roxburgh is planning a host of changes to improve the athletes’ experience and address water and road safety concerns.
❚ more swim wave starts to avoid swimmers being ‘‘run over’’ and reduce congestion on the Treble Cone cycle leg;
❚ a more formal ‘‘swim the course’’ event at a low cost of $5 so that swimmers can be tracked and timed with a transponder;
❚ a discounted entry fee for school children participating in the Junior Challenge ($3 instead of $20). Roxburgh said he would also order more Junior Challenge teeshirts and medals to avoid repeating this year’s disappointment, when supplies ran out, after a surge in last minute entries.
He was also working with Triathlon New Zealand regarding a future sprint course triathlon on the Challenge Wanaka course. The race could be part of a new five race national series for 16-19 year old development athletes, he said.
Coast to Coast 2017 February 10-11; Challenge Wanaka, February 18.