Hundreds take part in Taniwha
Nearly 1000 people took to the Waikato River Trails for the Taniwha sporting event this year.
In its third year, the event saw competitors aged from six to 86 taking part; walking, running or biking sections of the 100km of river trails.
Waikato River Trails Trust and Total Sport joined forces to present this event with support from South Waikato District Council, and part of each entry fee went to Shine – a charity striving to prevent domestic abuse in New Zealand.
Dave Franks of Total Sport said local involvement was healthy, with 46 per cent of participants hailing from the Waikato. The 54 per cent from outside the region included one Australian competitor.
‘‘It was just magic to see so many people from all walks of life having a blast on the Waikato River Trails and enjoying the area’s natural beauty.’’
Tracks take in boardwalks over wetlands, swing bridges, native bush, exotic forest, historic landmarks, interesting geological formations, open reserves and a number of dam crossings.
Franks suspected the South Waikato District was rather unknown to many of the people taking part in the event and said the Taniwha event did a great job of showcasing the district.
‘‘The comments people made to me both at the event and via email since the event is that they just loved the area ... I imagine many of these people will visit more frequently now.’’
Dave praised all those involved in the event.
‘‘The local involvement is truly instrumental in the ongoing success of The Taniwha.
‘‘We are so lucky to have such helpful volunteer groups, professional event suppliers and pro- active councils who truly make this event tick.
‘‘The Taniwha also takes pride in the fact that it gives a huge amount back to these groups, local companies and rate payers through economic benefit to the area.’’
Waikato River Trails general manager Glyn Wooller said as of next year, a second ‘‘ epic and exhilarating’’ event would be introduced to the trails’ sporting calendar.
Named The Generator, the multi-sport event can be tackled as an individual challenge, or by team effort.
Susie and Scott Brebner race through the finish after completing the annual Taniwha sporting event.