The Motatapu adventure race from Wanaka to the Wakatipu will have a multisport option from 2013.
The annual event sees competitors race between Arrowtown and Wanaka through stunning high country around Motatapu Station.
Organiser Geoff Matthews, a former winner of the Southern Traverse and other multisport events, hopes the new inclusion will reverse the demise of the once-popular discipline.
He believes a lack of atmosphere at individual multisport events has harmed the sport.
“It’s what I call the two cow finish line,” Matthews says.
“I can distinctly remember finishing a multisport race in front of three people and a few cows in a paddock.
“This came only a few weeks after racing in front of 25,000 people at the Auckland Ironman.
“It is extremely demoralising and I hope the thought of finishing in front of a big crowd will spur a few people into dusting off their kayaks.”
The multisport course will consist of a 15km kayak down the Matukituki River, a mountain bike through the Motatapu Valley and a 15km run along the Arrowtown Miners’ Trail.
“Finishing the Motatapu R&R Sport Multisport event will be possibly the largest crowd that any multisporter has ever seen in New Zealand,” Matthews predicts.
“The winner will get the accolades they deserve when crossing the finish line.”
The event is held in March.