Taranaki locals are being given the chance to experience what it is to run across the finish line on the famed blue carpet of the International Triathlon Union, with the introduction of the Tri Fest Fun Run’ supporting Mellowpuff Trust at Ngamotu Beach on Sunday 31st March.
The already hugely popular event just added another reason to come along and see the best triathletes in the world take on the ‘Sprint by the Mountain’, with a 2.5km and 5km fun run option that encourages children, adults, friends, workmates and whanau to walk, jog or run their way to the finish, all the while raising funds for an amazing local charity, the Mellowpuff Charitable Trust.
Event Director Shanelle Barrett says the plan is to further engage the local community on a day that showcases the best athletes in the world, but also looks to leave a legacy beyond the spectacle of race day.
“We want to further encourage locals to come and experience the thrills of an ITU Triathlon World Cup race and see the best athletes in the world up close and personal, but also to have the chance to get on course themselves.
“The Fun Run for Mellowpuff is not about times or results (the only timing will be on the finish line clock), it is about enjoying a walk, jog or run on the same course as the triathletes and contributing to a great local charity.”
The Tri Fest Fun Run for Mellowpuff will take place in between the elite female and male World Cup races, making for a great day at Ngamotu Beach watching and participating.
With entry fees for the Fun Run at just $10 and with $5 from every entry going directly to the Mellowpuff Charitable Trust, participants can know they are helping do amazing things for the children of Taranaki, at times when they need help the most.
“We wanted a charity with strong local ties, an organisation that local people can relate to and want to support,” said Barrett. “Mellowpuff has been making a difference in the lives of Taranaki families for over ten years now and we believe is a perfect fit for such a day of celebration and fun at Ngamotu Beach.”
Local identify Terry Long set up the trust in memory of his daughter Melissa after she passed away after a five-year fight with cancer and spoke of his delight at the chance to engage with the Taranaki Tri Festival and encourage locals to come out and enjoy a little exercise in on the waterfront.
“The Trust does a lot through sport as it brings people together, so this is cool. People can come out and enter as a family or team and be amongst workmates and we can raise some money but also importantly awareness of what we do to help the Trust help kids. This works perfectly with our ethos of local people doing local stuff to help local kids.
“Also, as an international event it is a first for us, to be involved on such a day that brings the local community together to celebrate some of the best athletes in the world racing in the heart of New Plymouth, that is fantastic.
“And don’t be shy of a bit of fancy dress to have even more fun, remember when thinking about your costume that hot pink is our colour so the more pink we see the better.”
Organisers hope to encourage local identities and celebrities to take part on the day, as well as encouraging schools to enter and take part, to show their support for Mellowpuff.
Barrett has high hopes for the Tri Fest Fun Run, stressing this one is about community, fun and showing the strength of the local community.
“This could grow into something very special, our focus throughout the week is on amazing racing, from the kids at the Sanitarium Weet-Bix Kids Tryathlon early in the week, to the WIL Sport National Schools Championships on the Friday and Saturday, to the very best in the world with the New Plymouth ITU Triathlon World Cup races.
“But this might just be the event that rewards us most, we hope to see people from all walks of life, smiling and sharing their own 2.5km or 5km journey to the blue carpet, and all for an amazing local charity.”
Entries are open online at www.taranakitrifestival.nz or people can enter at Ngamotu Beach during the the preceding days of action during the WIL Sport New Zealand Schools Tri Champs, entry is $10 per person, with $5 going directly to the Mellowpuff Trust.
For more, contact:
Taranaki Tri Festival
Taranaki Triathlon Festival Schedule – all events at Ngamotu Beach
Tuesday 26 March, 8am to 1pm
Sanitarium Weet-bix Kids Tryathlon, 7 – 15 years age categories
Thursday 28 March, 3pm to 7pm
Athlete Registration, WIL Sport NZ Schools Tri Champs
Friday 29 March
10am WIL Sport NZ Schools Tri Champs,
3pm WIL Sport NZ Schools T1T2 Relay
Saturday 30 March
8am WIL Sport NZ Schools Tag Team Relays
12pm WIL Sport NZ Schools Prize giving
Sunday 31 March
10:45am Elite Women, New Plymouth ITU Triathlon World Cup
12pm Fun Run for Mellowpuff
1:15pm Elite Men, New Plymouth ITU Triathlon World Cup
2:30pm Medal Presentations
More on Mellowpuff Charitable Trust www.mellowpufftrust.co.nz
The Mellowpuff Charitable Trust was set up in May 2006 in memory of Melissa Long who passed away after a five-year battle with Cancer.
During the time Melissa was sick her family received a wide variety of help from family, friends, neighbours, work colleagues and schools in the area, the amazing aspect was the amount of support from throughout Taranaki, some of who were total strangers at the time.
Melissa’s dying wish to her father Terry was to repay the support by using the funds in her bank account to assist other Taranaki children who were going through similar adversity.
It was decided amongst loved ones to act on Melissa’s wish so with the help of special people the Mellowpuff Charitable Trust was formed.
There are three criteria for recipients, they must be children from Taranaki, 19 years of age and under and been through some type of adversity.
It is also important for the Trust to spend the money locally where possible as well. The concept is local people supporting local children spending the money locally.