Challenge Wanaka: Sport Can Empower

Date: 10th January 2014

From our client, endurance athlete Dougal Allan

Challenges are what test us. A challenge is an opportunity to persevere, or simply to give up. Sport is no different.

On January 18th I will line up on the start line for Challenge Wanaka. Not only will I be attempting my first iron-distance triathlon, but I’ll be doing it in the pro field. My decision to race this event has surprised a few, but none more so than myself. My entry was seemingly instinctive, and only now am I beginning to try and make sense of why. It all comes back to that saying: “Sport can empower”…..

The trick is to know you will never give up on something that means a lot. Sometimes, to really test your will to live fully, you need to reach a bit further than you think you can – to put yourself to the test.

Challenge Wanaka has every chance of chewing me up and spitting me out. I’ll be racing the course, despite being surrounded by competitors (at least on the start line they’ll still be close by). I have huge respect for every inch of the course and expect it to push me to my physical and mental limits; if not beyond them.  Yet I fear none of it. What excites me most, and I am thinking this may finally answer my question as to why I instinctively signed up last week, is that nothing is guaranteed. Sport, like life, is a series of ups and downs. My choice for being better prepared for life is to do sport. I like to think that a rich life is one where boundaries are pushed and then extended. We can all push our boundaries in different ways. I have just personally chosen to believe that “sport can empower”.

Empower yourself: Festival encourages everyone to get active

Challenge Wanaka Triathlon Festival attracts in excess of 2,000 athletes over a multi-day celebration of sport involving all ages and abilities. The flagship event is Challenge Wanaka long distance triathlon (3.8km/180km/42.2km) on Saturday 18 January.

With more than 1,600 competitors focused on the full and half distance triathlon races, the festival also includes several satellite events designed to give everyone the chance to get active, have fun and take part in the world’s number one fastest-growing sport.  So here’s your opportunity to put Dougal’s words into practice and empower yourself!

The Radio Wanaka 5km Fun Run/Walk (Wednesday 15 January), Puzzling World Junior Challenge Wanaka and Sport Central 3:9:3 (both Friday 17 January) are open to everyone with registration available on the day itself.

The Radio Wanaka 5km Charity Fun Run/Walk kicks things off in laid-back style along an easy lakefront course towards Waterfall Creek and back through Rippon Vineyard, Edgewater Resort and Wanaka Station Park.

The Puzzling World Junior Challenge Wanaka has a new day and a new course for 2014 taking youngsters down the official finish chute for the first time. Different course lengths cater for individuals and teams in four age groups from 6-15 years with a swim through Lake Wanaka followed by a bike along Ardmore Street and run around Pembroke Park.

Taking place in downtown Wanaka later that afternoon, the Sport Central 3:9:3 is a new sprint event organised by Southland Triathlon and Multisport Club comprising a 300m swim, 9.6km bike and 3km run. Whether competing for the first time or not, anyone aged 13 and above is welcome to enter, especially friends and family of Challenge Wanaka athletes who will be in town on the day.

Satellite event manager, Iona Sanders said “Whether you’re young, not-so-young or somewhere in between, these events are designed to be accessible and fun so get involved! A key part of the Challenge Family philosophy is participation and community spirit. The Challenge Wanaka Triathlon Festival embraces this throughout its programme and it’s so rewarding to see so many people from the local community taking part as competitors, spectators and volunteers.”

See Challenge Wanaka for more information on all the events happening over the Festival week.


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