Kapiti Women’s Triathlon: Brilliant!

I smiled all the way!  Mahina, one of the final finishers

By Roger Childs

 I loved everything about it.  Dee from Wellington

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA This was the common reaction from the large field of women and girls who completed the 2014 Kapiti Women’s Triathlon (KWT) on Sunday 2 March.

The Kapiti Coast turned on excellent weather with temperatures in the early 20s for the event, and in coordinator Evelyn Williamson’s words, we ironed the sea for the swim. There were 590 entries, which is the largest field in recent times.

The event was based at Raumati Beach and after the swim, the cycle leg was out and back along the coast to North Paraparaumu Beach. The running course followed tracks along the Wharemauku Stream and, whatever event out of the seven participants were doing, everyone finished at Marine Gardens.

Absolutely stoked. Evelyn Williamson

 Evelyn was delighted with how things went. She doesn’t see a lot of the event itself on the day, however her reactions to this year’s KWT were very positive:

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~ it was a brilliant day
~ all the coordinators did their job
~ there were heaps of families and kids involved
~ it was well supported by sponsors
~ there were no incidents
~ I’m a happy camper!

 

It all comes together with the help of dozens of volunteers of all ages including course setters, OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERArunning and cycling marshals, traffic controllers, finish-chute helpers providing drinks and fruit, stall holders, entertainers and commentators.

 

 

 

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAMarine Gardens were pulsating with hundreds of happy participants and supporters, as the final competitors headed for the finish. Raumati Beach was abuzz with over a dozen stalls selling everything from electrolyte drinks and sports gear to cup cakes and jewellery, kids dashing in and out of the Splashpad and families enjoying the picnic atmosphere.
Local cafes were doing a roaring trade.

 

Age is only a number. Finish announcer

 The KWT mantra sums up what the event is all about: Inspire, Motivate, Participate. Everyone is a winner and the emphasis is on encouraging women and girls to set themselves a challenge and carry it through.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThere is a fantastic spirit about the event which began over thirty years ago. Ages range from well over 70 to under 10, and there is a great feeling of achievement which shows on the smiling faces of all the finishers.

Gold card holder, Audrey Barry, also known as Iron Gran, has just completed her 15th KWT which she modestly says is pretty good. She loves competing in such a beautiful environment and was delighted with this year’s beautiful Kapiti Coast day.

 Her sister, Sister Barbara, has done 8 KWTs which she feels is not too bad! She freely acknowledges Audrey as her inspiration.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI feel fabulous! Mahina’s reaction on finishing her first triathlon

Mahina and Dee were the final finishers and received a huge ovation from the crowd. From Wellington they were part of a group who trained together for the event with plenty of swimming, and cycling to work.

They loved the whole experience, found all the officials and well wishers along the course awesome and smiled all the way.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA As Mahina and Dee came down the finish-chute they were followed by the fairy. Appropriately dressed for the part, she had provided support and encouragement to participants along the way, especially on the run course.  To the delight of the crowd, she cart wheeled across the line.

(Photographs by Pam Childs. Click to enlarge.)

 

 

I did the KWT for the first time yesterday and I’m still on cloud nine! To finish the event (I was anxious about the swim) was my goal and I did better than I expected! The encouragement along the way from the marshals was wonderful to receive and the whole day had a great feeling about it.

It was quite humbling at the prize giving to see many women who had over come huge health hurdles to train and then complete the event. Also, to see mothers and daughters and even grandaughters competing together.

Thank you to all the organisers who made this such a fabulous day. I had thought that this one time would do me but already I’m starting to think about next year!