Scratch and go


Organisers of this Saturday’s Lake Hayes women’s triathlon will be offering showers to competitors after reports of duck itch in the lake. 

The Southern Lakes Women’s Triathlon and Duathlon, in its 18th year, is expected to attract hundreds of women to the popular event. Organiser Geoff Hunt says he hadn’t heard about the lake having the parasite that causes an itchy skin rash till contacted by Mountain Scene. 

“It’s ok if you have a shower afterwards. We can do that – the pavilion’s got some showers in it so if that’s the case we’ll just warn everyone to have a shower,” he says. 

Lake Hayes resident Vicki Bonham-Hoskin, swimming with kids in shallow water two weeks ago, says they all got the rash that “looked like the measles” for a week. 

“But others that were swimming further out didn’t seem to get it,” Bonham-Hoskin says. 

Hunt adds: “We go out 150m and back again so I can’t see it’s going to be a problem that’s going to bother anybody.” 

Skincare website DermNet NZ says the rash can be prevented by “briskly” rubbing skin with a towel immediately after leaving the water. 

The triathlon consists of a 300m swim or 2km kayak, followed by a 15km bike ride and running or walking 5km. 

The duathlon begins with a 1.5km run/walk, followed by the tri’s later bike and run stages. 

Meanwhile, kids will get their turn on Sunday with the Lake Hayes Kids’ Duathlon. 

The event – in its 17th year – is aimed at kids “giving it a go” and is broken into different age categories with varying distances.