Cook Islands Triathlon Association president Roland Neururer said the event had gained popularity over the years to become one of the top sporting meets in Rarotonga.
“Triathlon events have been held in Rarotonga since the early 1980s. Rarotonga’s national championship race, the ‘Tinman’ triathlon – of slightly shorter distance than the Olympic distance – has been held every year since 1983,” Neururer said.
“Establishment of an event open to overseas competitors was helped along in 1995 by the then manager of Air New Zealand, Barry Hardy.
“Subsequent Air New Zealand managers have continued to facilitate support for the event, for which the Cook Islands Triathlon Association is immensely grateful.”
In more recent years, Neururer said the Air New Zealand Rarotonga Triathlon had been promoted in conjunction with complementary businesses involved in tourism.
“The Edgewater Resort & Spa, which commenced operations in the mid-1970s, is the host resort, and Bank South Pacific and Island Car & Bike Hire have provided financial support,” he said.
“The event also has major support with sponsorship and staff involvement from Vaima Pure Island Water, CITC Pharmacy and Aroa Vegeland.”
The highest number of individuals taking part in the annual event was recorded in 2010. One hundred and ten individuals entered the event that year, with teams added making it 137 in total.
“In 2014, with the attraction of it being the 20-year anniversary, there were 106 individuals but more teams, which made a total of 178,” said Neururer. “The first event in 1995 had just 13 women and a similar number of men.”
Thursday: 3pm Race packs available at Trader Jacks; 3.30-4.30pm Registration for Boiler Swim; 4.45pm Boiler Swim start; 5.30pm Boiler Swim prizegiving adjacent to Trader Jacks Bar; 7.30pm Pasta Dinner at Edgewater Resort & Spa, with race packs available.
Saturday, May 5: 11.30am Transition opens at Tikioki site; 11.30am-1pm Race registration and numbering; 1.30pm Race start (waist-deep water) in Tikioki Lagoon; 6pm Race cut off time – marshals will vacate the course.
Sunday, May 6: 4.30pm Prizegiving and dinner at Edgewater Resort & Spa.
Monday, May 7: 5pm Raro Hash House Harriers 4km run/walk – venue is in Arorangi beside the main road adjacent to Sunset Resort. Island Feast supplied by Hash Harriers. Cost $15 per person, children under 10 half price.
Tuesday, May 8: 3.30-4.30pm Registration and timing chips for paid entrants for the Turtles Tees Round Raro Cycle Race; 4.45pm Race start; 7.30pm Post Cycle Race wrap-up and BBQ get together at Edgewater Resort & Spa.
Wednesday, May 9: 5pm Matutu Brewery’s One Mile Run & Barbeque at the Tikioki triathlon venue. Gold-coin entry fee in support of a local charity – enjoy the local brew as well as the short run and sausage sizzle. The one-mile run starts from Tikioki, goes towards Matutu Brewery, and returns. Finishers can elect to receive a glass of Matutu or fruit juice at the end of the race. Don’t miss this classic social event.