Pauanui’s Summer Series enjoyed a record season for 2019/2020, marking 50 years for the much-loved programme.
The annual series held over the New Year period includes the popular sprint-distance Pauanui Triathlon, the gruelling King of the Mountain trail run up Mount Pauanui, and a Pauanui Waterways swim amongst other family events.
The series is hosted by the Pauanui Sports and Recreation Club and attracts thousands of people across the wide-range of activities.
Club manager Gary Smith says the series has gone from strength-to-strength since its origins in 1970 and has become a central part of the holiday calendar for many local families.
“It’s a great formula and something that is unique to Pauanui at this time of year,” Gary says. “We hear that many people choose to come to Pauanui for their holidays because of what the Summer Series offers.”
The Pauanui Triathlon and King of the Mountain are the series’ banner sports events, attracting a field ranging from keen athletes to fitness enthusiasts and first-timers, or those participating as part of fun or family teams.
The 2019 Pauanui Triathlon held on New Year’s Eve drew 150 entries. The King of the Mountain crown was retained for a third year by Flavio Vianna who travelled from Whitianga for the ultimate 8.5km trail run, which sees runners climb Mt Pauanui with breath taking views as they run down the eastern ridge to Cave Bay before a rock-hop along the foreshore, finishing with a beach run.
“It’s my punishment each year,” Mr Vianna told the Summer Series crew as he blitzed the field of 180 runners over the finish line with a time of 41 minutes.
A newer event, the Pauanui Waterways swim, gets more popular each year, this season attracting 160 swimmers to compete in the short-course swims and the longer 1km and 2km races.
With 209 entrants in the Kids’ Duathlon, Pauanui holidaymakers can be assured the future of the town’s sporting culture is in good stead, with keen runners and cyclists coming through the ranks.
Proceeds from the Summer Series are returned to community groups such as the local Men’s Shed and the Pauanui Volunteer Fire Brigade as well as Surf Life Saving NZ and St John. Of course, these events would not proceed without the help of the numerous volunteers that put their hands up year after year to help marshal the events. In the biggest event, the Triathlon/Duathlon 60 volunteers are engaged to assist with staging the event on the day. We are so fortunate that so many amazing and willing people reside in our community.
Event organisers Amanda Iggulden, Vicky Waller and Georgina Bond have all enjoyed taking part in the Summer Series in the past, and love seeing so many people enjoying themselves and keeping fit over their holidays.
The girls are keeping up the momentum for the fitness-loving population, as part of the organising committee for the inaugural Pauanui Half Marathon on March 21, 2020. The trail-based course takes in some of the best sites at this all-time popular holiday spot: The surf beach, the Pauanui Waterways and the off-road forest and estuary-side track of the Pauanui Tairua Trail.
The event also offers 10km and 5km courses, with walking options on all distance.
More information and register online at pauanuihalfmarathon.co.nz