Fa­mil­iar face at Chal­lenge helm

Central Otago Mirror - - WHAT’S ON - MAR­JORIE COOK Key mul­ti­sport dates:

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.

They in­clude:

❚ 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.

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