Article Written by George Hagney – 15.30, Apr 08 2019

Children, adults and whole families braved their first multisport event at the Whānau Tri.

Sport Manawatū’s annual family-friendly Whānau Tri took place at the Lido and Ongley Park, Palmerston North, on Sunday.

More than 190 people entered and Sport Manawatū’s events co-ordinator Guy Barton said the day was about removing the barriers of a traditional triathlon.

“It’s an opportunity for people who have never done a triathlon to give triathlon a go in a relaxed environment.”

He said there were about 50 people doing it for the first time and most of them were part of Sport Manawatū’s Whānau Fit programme, designed for people starting out in the sport. “They do a swimming programme, a running programme and a biking programme. It breaks the ice for them to show them it’s possible.

“The [Whānau Tri] event is the peak of the programme.”

Whānau Fit is a 10-week course run by active communities adviser Andrew Hetariki and encourages people to make a lifestyle change.

Entrants have a health check and are spoken to by Diabetes New Zealand.

Barton said instead of telling people what to do, the programme gave people the tools to make informed decisions.

“They were pretty stoked to complete it. And not just about doing it in a walk, they were doing it in a run the whole way.”

There was a tamariki tri, an advanced tri, an intermediate tri and the main whānau tri.

A lot of children entered and the youngest person in the whānau tri event was 6, who completed it with their family. Many families completed the event together, including crossing the finish line in a bunch.

There were entries from Feilding, Levin, Foxton, Dannevirke, Whanganui and Masterton.

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