Kapiti Women’s Triathlon On February 26

Encouraging participation

By Roger Childs

The piper leads the swimmers down the beach

The 2017 running of this iconic Kapiti sporting event will take place on Sunday 26 February.

The Kapiti Women’s Triathlon (KWT) promotes participation for all women and girls, with options suitable for all ages and levels of fitness.

We consider everyone who makes the start line is a winner.  Evelyn Williamson.

The KWT mantra sums up what the event is all about: Inspire, Motivate, Participate


Something for everyone

Participants can choose from:

There’s something for everyone with the range of options available:

  • Triathlon Full Course:                  400 metre  swim, 12 km cycle, 4 km walk or run
  • Triathlon ½ Course Distance:     200 metre swim, 6 km  cycle, 2 km walk or run
  • Triathlon Sprint Distance*:         750 metre swim, 18 km  cycle, 5 km run*
  • Duathlon Sprint Distance*          500 metre run, 18km cycle, 5km run*
  • Duathlon Full course:                  500 metre run,  12 km cycle, 4 km walk or run
  • Duathlon ½ Course Distance:     200 metre run, 6 km  cycle, 2 km walk or run
  • Swim cycle event:                        400 metre swim  12 km cycle
  • Swim Run event:                          400 metre  swim, 4 km walk or run
  • Have a go – Fun Run:                   5km walk or run

Teams:                                          Most of the above events have team options

*Sprint Distance triathlon and duathlon are designed for more experienced participants.

See the website to enter and for all the details: http://www.kwt.org.nz/

An event with plenty of history

The KWT has been running since 1983 with over 14,000 women and girls having taken part over the years. It has also involved many community groups, sports clubs, businesses and other organisations.

The event was the brainchild of well known local sporting and environmental personality, Jan Nisbet. At the time she was Recreation Programmer for the Council and responsible for encouraging people to get out and exercise. Having done a couple of triathlons herself where very few women participated, Jan decided to set the wheels in motion for a Raumati based event.

The Kapiti experience was the first women-only triathlon in the North Island. In November 1983 there were 299 participants in the inaugural KWT.


  • ran about 5km: on the sand from Raumati Beach to the S bends then via Tahi St to the tracks round the south end of the airport and on to Weka Park.
  • cycled about 10km: down Raumati Road, and along Rimu Road, Kapiti Road , Marine Parade, Wharemauku Road, Matatua Road and back to Weka Park.
  • ran about 200m to Raumati Pool.
  • swam about 300m in the pool where officials valiantly tried to felt mark competitors arms as they completed every two laps!

Then ran back to Weka Park to the finish.

A legend was born

The event was a fantastic success and plenty of community groups were delighted to be involved. The Kapiti Joggers did the run marshalling and the local Cycling Club looked after the biking section.

There was a party atmosphere at Weka Park, and tired finishers were able to relax and picnic on the grass with their families, and enjoy the prize giving and spot prize draw. An iconic event was born.

Over the years there have been many modifications and course changes. However in Evelyn Williamson’s words It’s come a wee way, but is still really a simple event at heart.

There have been a few accidents and incidents, such as when an errant marshal sent the cyclists down to the State Highway! However, there have been thousands of very satisfied customers who keep coming back.

The swim is now in the sea off Raumati Beach and the headquarters are in Marine Gardens. The bike course is also a lot safer now with the riders biking up to the north end of Manly Street in Paraparaumu Beach and back.