The Taupo Half Ironman
The Taupo half ironman is a half ironman event that is held in New Zealand during early December every year in the town of Taupo which is located at the mouth of Lake Taupo, the largest lake in New Zealand.
The borough of Taupo is one of great natural beauty with active volcanic activity and sports a number of natural hot springs in and around the area.
Taupo has a population of around 22,500 and enjoys temperatures of around 20 degrees celsius at the time of the half ironman in early December, with quite a high likelihood of rain.
The reason for this choice of venue is due to the towns compact size and well maintained streets and services and a proactive council and population.
The Taupo half ironman begins at Taupo Yacht club in the deep water lake and is a circular route in that you exit the lake where you enter it after swimming around designated buoys in the lake for a total of 2kms.
The transition then takes place a short run away, where you collect your bike and begin the cycling phase. This is a 90km route and again you finish at the transition point before finally taking to road again for the 21.1 km run.
The event is open to individuals over 18 years old and to team members no younger than 14. The field is restricted to 1500 athletes and accepts competitors of all ages and gender.
The great thing about the Taupo half ironman is that is has a wide range of age groups to enter in to invidually, and as a team you can enter a mixed, all male or an all female team.
The race has a contigency plan if water conditions are poor and that is to simply complete the cycle and run only. With the lake being a deep water lake, the safety of all competitors is an absolute priority. Cancellation of the entire race will only be due to extreme weather conditions.
The Taupo half ironman has a policy of compulsory wetsuit washing in a decontaminant solution before the event to avoid the chances of contamination from Didymo which is a microscopic pest prevalent in the southern islands of New Zealand. It is an exotic algae that invades waterways. Go here to find out more – All about Didymo
There is always a designated official photography company who will be on hand to take pictures of all entrants throughout the course of the race which gives you a great opportunity to get your own race captured on camera.
Winners of the mens, womens and team events can expect a good cash prize which changes each year, with payouts also going to second and third placed entrants.
The Taupo Half Ironman operates a no performance enhancing drugs policy and no alcohol or banned substances are permitted to be used by the competitors at any stage of the race.
To find out more or to enter the event yourself, take a look at the official website here – Taupo Half Ironman