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

The fun run has be­come a pop­u­lar part of the Porirua Grand Tra­verse.

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