CHAL­LENGE WANAKA

220 Triathlon Magazine - - It's Not Over Yet! -

Lo­ca­tion Wanaka, New Zealand Date 17 Fe­bru­ary 2018 Triath­letes may be spoilt for pic­ture-postcard set­tings for their race ad­ven­tures, but the con­sen­sus is that Chal­lenge Wanaka in the Otago re­gion of New Zealand’s South Is­land edges all the con­tenders.

Start­ing at Roy’s Bay, the event sees ath­letes dive into crisp Lake Wanaka for an L-shaped 3.8km swim loop in wa­ter so clean you can drink it. An un­du­lat­ing 180km bike route (to­tal climb­ing of 1,684m) fol­lows, with the course tak­ing in both Lake Wanaka and Lake Hawea be­fore re­turn­ing to Wanaka for the marathon run leg. Un­usu­ally for long-dis­tance races, the 42.2km foot race takes place on 75% off-road trails.

But the beauty of the scenery be­lies the chal­lenge of the event, with ath­letes oc­ca­sion­ally fac­ing choppy and chilly wa­ters (thick neo­prene swim hats are a com­mon sight here), cross­winds on the bike and un­even trails on the run.

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