En­tries open for first Breca Wanaka

Central Otago Mirror - - CLASSIFIEDS - MAR­JORIE COOK For more de­tails, or to en­ter:

Wanaka has been cho­sen as the lo­ca­tion for New Zealand’s first Breca SwimRun.

It is a gnarly ad­ven­ture race, but with­out the kayak or bike.

Ath­letes swim and run in pairs over a mul­ti­ple stage course for ei­ther 17km or 42km and - here’s the catch - must wear wet­suits and shoes at all times.

The con­cept was launched in 2002 with Swe­den’s OtillO (Is­land to Is­land), with a 75km swim and run course cross­ing 26 is­lands in the Stock­holm ar­chi­pel­ago.

Breca event or­gan­iser Ben de Ri­vaz, of Bri­tain, did a re­con­nais­sance of lakes Wanaka and Hawea in April.

‘‘Wanaka was the nat­u­ral place for us to launch swimrun in New Zealand. It has ev­ery­thing we look for in a Breca course - it’s an ex­tra­or­di­nary land­scape, with beau­ti­ful swim­ming and out­stand­ing trails.

‘‘I knew the area hav­ing vis­ited in 2001; also I was rec­om­mended it by Kiwi swimrun friends. I couldn’t think of a bet­ter place to be­come the home of New Zealand swimrun,’’ de Ri­vaz said.

Breca Wanaka will be the first race in a New Zealand se­ries. De Ri­vaz ex­pects to an­nounce other dates in early 2017.

De Ri­vaz and his busi­ness part­ner Hannah Graves run their event com­pany in the United King­dom and have founded other swimrun events, in­clud­ing Breca But­ter­mere and Breca Jersey.

Wanaka course de­tails will be re­leased as soon as re­source con­sents have been fi­nalised.

De Ri­vaz is based in Hack­ney Wick, Lon­don and there is no Wanaka-based con­tact for his com­pany.

Swimrun races have rules for gear that must be car­ried and worn at all times, even dur­ing the swims.

Run­ning in a wet­suit sounds hot and un­com­fort­able but do­ing it in togs or a race suit is not al­lowed.

‘‘You don’t change out of your stuff at all. I know why you are ask­ing that ques­tion but as peo­ple get de­graded over the course of the day, they need the ex­tra warmth and hav­ing the ex­tra buoy­ancy is re­ally help­ful, ’’ de Ri­vaz said.

Breca Wanaka is for teams of two. It is not open to in­di­vid­u­als.

De Ri­vaz, 32, has worked in the fi­nance in­dus­try and has a pas­sion for ul­tra­ma­rathon and long dis­tance triathlon.

❚ bre­caswim­run.com


Breca Wanaka SwimRun race or­gan­iser Ben de Ri­vaz, of the UK, tests a course on the Out­let Track in Wanaka.

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