Old rival inspires Motatapu founder to add a triathlon

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A random meeting with a former Ironman rival has encouraged Motatapu founder Geoff Matthews to add a triathlon to his annual event.

The next Motatapu event, on March 12, already includes a popular mountain bike race from Wanaka and Arrowtown, an off-road marathon, a mountain run and an adventure run.

It will now also include an invite-only triathlon for 50 competitors, comprising a 2km swim in Glendhu Bay, Lake Wanaka, the 47km mountain bike race and the 15km mountain run.

Matthews says former Ironman rival Gavin Hawke, whom he bumped into a month ago, told him he’d only come back for the Motatapu when he could do the triathlon.

“I was a little lost and asked him, ‘what triathlon’?”

Hawke replied: “Swim in Glendhu Bay, bike the Motatapu mountain bike and run the Miner’s Trail.”

Matthews expects top triathletes will take more than 4hr 15min to complete the event – “This means it will be slightly longer in duration than a half ironman.”