Iron Mori Taranaki sees hundreds take part in 'awesome' event

Hundreds of people donned their running shoes, swimming caps and jumped on their bikes for a stellar Iron Mori Taranaki at the weekend.
The swimming, running and cycling event, which was held at and around the TSB Hub in Hwera, began on Friday night with an event for tamariki, with adults competing the following day.

It was Inglewood High School teacher Hemi Haddons first time doing something this athletic other than when he was a young fella.

Hayley Honatana was all smiles when she crossed the finish line.

For me, it's about having a healthy lifestyle, Haddon said. As you get older, its more important.

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And while Haddon, who described himself as a mature adult" is looking forward to next year's event, he's got big plans in-between, including another triathlon soon.

I think its good to have goals throughout the year, he said. Not just a dreary one-off.

Team members Brian Manutai, James Ngarewa, 79 years, father of Mori Party co-leader Debbie Ngarewa-Packer, and Hawaii Manutai, 13, cross the line together on Saturday.

About 200 children, aged between 5 and 11, swam 100 metres and ran one kilometre on Friday night, Iron Mori founder Heather Skipworth said.

The childrens event does not include a bike ride as not all youngsters have bicycles, and it takes the pressure off parents.

This way any child can participate.

Amelia Rae, from Kpiti, was one of the many who travelled from outside the region to participate in the Taranaki event.

The children made for a great watch, with their parents all cheering on the sidelines.

The kids always set the tone for the weekend, Skipworth said. It was just such a good vibe.

Then, on Saturday, the tables turned as the adults got active.

It was the kids being proud of their parents.

Rachel Vickery looks to be enjoying herself on the bike leg of the Iron Maori event.

More than 300 men and women took part in either the 300m swim, 20km bike ride and 5km run, or the shorter event, which is half the length.

It was stellar, Skipworth said. The atmosphere was pretty amazing.

Darryl Atkins was the overall winner of the event.

This was the sixth year the event, which is open to all, had been held in Hwera, but some of the participants came from out of town, including overall winner Darryl Atkins, of Ngti Porou, who is from the East coast.

Atkins encouraged anyone who hadnt been along or participated to give it a go.

It's an awesome event to be a part of, Atkins said. It can be so transformative.

The bike leg of the Iron Mori event was busy.

He said there was always a sense of whanaungatanga (connection) amongst participants.

Its quite special to be there every year.


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