Grand Traverse offers a new challenge
The Porirua Grand Traverse is still among New Zealand’s best multisport events, and this year includes a new mountainbike route.
The Grand Traverse, established in 2006, takes competitors around the city’s hills, forests, coastlines and waterways.
The popular multi-sport event has something for everyone, from weekend runners and walkers to schools and skilled endurance enthusiasts.
This year’s 11th annual traverse is scheduled for Sunday, April 3.
The race, based at Whitireia Polytechnic campus, involves a 10km kayak, 24km mountainbike and 18km mountain run, either solo or in a team.
In recent years organisers have introduced races in single disciplines.
That includes the popular Arena Fitness 7.5km fun run/ walk. The Schools Challenge is a highlight within the fun run/ walk. It challenges schools around Wellington to stake a claim as the fittest learning centre.
The first boy and girl in school year categories win prizes. The winning school is the first with four to cross the line.
The 10km kayak race takes paddlers across Porirua Harbour into Pauatahanui Inlet and back. As well as racing kayaks, it is open to outriggers and paddleboarders.
This year the mountainbike section promises to steal the limelight.
An exciting new mountainbike route will spotlight the evergrowing mountainbike trails on Colonial Knob.
The 24km route features bushclad single track and a climb to Porirua’s highest view.
‘‘This new route really is a mix of everything that mountainbikers love,’’ event manager Michael Jacques said.
‘‘There are flowing bush tracks, tough uphills and big thrill downhills. At the same time it is challenging enough for hard-core racers, but achievable by relative rookies.’’
The Grand Traverse has attracted about 800 participants in recent years and organisers hope to hit 1000 for the first time in April.
For information, including course maps, visit pgt.org.nz.
The fun run has become a popular part of the Porirua Grand Traverse.