Get ready for Grand Traverse
Early registrations are open for Porirua Grand Traverse.
Organisers are hoping to break the 1000 mark for participants in the iconic multisport event, which takes place on April 6.
The event was rebranded this year and Whitireia Community Polytechnic became the start/finish area.
This year’s event worked ‘‘incredibly well’’, race co-ordinator Marjolein Cook said.
‘‘We had 900 people take part, pretty much double the number from 2012, and having everything focused at one point [Whitireia] was great.
‘‘It led to a really positive atmosphere for everyone. We want to recreate that.’’
The course, for everyone from elite multisporters to fun runners, would not change from this year’s, Cook said.
For the elite competitors, an eightkilometre kayak to Browns Bay and back, a mountainbike into Belmont Regional Park — with a slight modification because of Transmission Gully — and a mountain run up Colonial Knob and down into Titahi Bay would be considered a ‘‘training run’’, organiser and sponsor Graham Findlater said.
Organisers hope to attract the likes of stars Marcel Hagener, Richard Ussher and Jill Westenra, but it depends on their schedules.
‘‘There’s a lot of climbs, so it does test you,’’ Findlater said.
The youth challenge, involving waka, mountainbike and run legs, was believed to be the only event of its kind in the region, Cook said.
The fun run, meanwhile, continues to attract big numbers and could involve work teams and families.
‘‘Our new tagline – All Ages, All Abilities, All Amazing – is what we’re about,’’ Cook said.
‘‘Sure, there’s an elite element, but we want to encourage people to really get involved in the fun run and even dress up for it.
‘‘The great thing is it’s do-able for ordinary people.’’
The fun run starts at the Titahi Bay surf club, goes through Whitireia Park and ends up at the polytech.
Local businesses, such as Rainbow Creative and Henshaw Signs, had been very supportive, Cook said.
More than 150 people were involved from the organising to the marshalling and timekeeping on the day, she said.