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In a life where nothing can be taken for granted and the residents of Christchurch try every day to find some normalcy in the far from normal situation in which they now live and work, the Contact Tri Series at Pegasus this weekend offers some respite as bikes, running shoes and wetsuits are the big priority - for a couple of hours anyway.
The Contact Tri Series comes to Pegasus this Sunday for the second time after last year’s successful debut in the purpose built town 20 minutes drive North of Christchurch City. There are events of all distances for all ages and abilities, from the children’s Contact 1:2:1 (100m swim, 2km bike, 1km run) to the beginners 3:9:3 (300m, 9km, 3km) and on to the Contact Trophy race over the sprint distance (750m, 20km, 5km).
Tri NZ Event Manager Haidee Stratford knows what it means for people to have some sort of a break from the stress of the aftershocks, damaged homes, and altered lifestyles. Stratford is one of a number of the Triathlon NZ team that is based in Christchurch and understands what people have been through and what they face every day.
“In no way are we making light of what some families and businesses have gone through over the past 15 months or so but even the smallest of distractions can be of help and if that means a short drive to Pegasus and taking part in a triathlon this weekend, then we are here to help facilitate that.
“Our entry list is flooded with stories from locals of struggling to find the time, the facilities and the focus to train but they are doing their best and will be there on the start line on Sunday morning.”
Stratford says it is also important for events such as the Contact Tri Series to continue to support the region.
“While there has been much devastation, life goes on for the people of Christchurch and it is important that arts, cultural and sporting events continue to support the city if they can. Pegasus is a great venue for us with a lake swim and flat, smooth roads for the bike, we hope to be here for a long time and if we can continue to support the region, through the good and the bad times.
“Not only are we offering an opportunity to the local people, but we are inviting the wider triathlon community to make the trip and help rebuild local tourism and hospitality infrastructure. Any money spent in the region on accommodation, food and other services is vital in the current environment.”
Entries are open online at www.triseries.co.nz or at registration on Saturday 14th January at Jellie Park Recreation Centre, 295 Ilam Road, Burnside, from 3pm to 5pm. There are no late entries on race day.
Saturday 14 January
Registration & Late Entries Jellie Park Recreation Centre 3pm - 5pm
Sunday 15 January
Registration* Pegasus' Flat White Cafe 7:30am - 8:30am
Contact 3:9:3 Men & Men's Teams 8:30am
Women & Women's/Mixed Teams 9:10am
Trophy - Sprint Men & Men's Teams 10:00am
Women & Women's/Mixed Teams 10:35am
Contact 1:2:1 Boys 12:15pm
Prize-Giving: At finish area from 1:00pm
Rain venue will be above The General Store
* Please note that no late entries are taken on the day of the event