Kai Iwi Lakes Triathlon

Race Reports, March 12, 2018

The lowdown on the 2018 Kai Iwi Lakes Triathlon

This Northland triathlon has been a regular fixture on many NHTC club members calendars and this season was no different.  Coach Stephen put out the call for a bit of a road trip and a good number of club members answered the call and “toed the line”.

For those that aren’t familiar with the area, the Kai iwi lakes are located about 40km North of Dargaville.  It’s deep in Kauri and Kumara country so prepare to see plenty of both! The “Kai iwi lakes” are actually three lakes, the largest (called Lake Taharoa) is where the triathlon is located.  It has got a unique feature of having a shallow shelf around the edge of the lake before it drops off quite quickly. It’s great for kids to splash around in and my two year old loved it!

In terms of a family friendly triathlon weekend this is a perfect spot.  There’s a campground right at Pine Beach so if you’re into camping it’s perfect.  Not being the camping sort we opted to find an AirBnB not far from the lakes. It’s a remote location though so you have to be well prepared in terms of food (stock up on stuff at the Countdown in Dargaville).  I’ve been told there isn’t any food available at the campground either.

It’s also close enough to Auckland to do it in a (long) day.  Some of the crew took that option.

The event itself has something for everyone.  There’s a kids triathlon first up, then the “short” course and finally the “long” course.  The long course is the one to do though. Even though it’s a 700 meter swim there must have been about 100m of running (in the shallows).

This is the start line, about 30 metres of running / duck diving and then it’s time to swim.

The bike is 20kms long and it’s definitely “honest”.  Plenty of hills to keep things interesting, I rode my roadie but there were lots of TT bikes too.  The run is one lap around the lake (about 9km), one little hill at the beginning and mostly off road.  Some nice views if you can look up long enough to take it in ;)

The NHTC crew did manage to walk away with a bit of hardware with Cushla and Stephen both managing to win the Veterans category.  The rest of us had heaps of fun battling it out between ourselves for bragging rights.

But regardless of how you do in the actual race no one walks away empty handed.  As well as plenty of spot prizes everyone gets a bag of kumara to take home! And with the current price in the supermarket lately this is almost worth more than the race entry!

This was my first time doing it and I can fully recommend it.  It’s low-key but also as challenging as you want it to be. I’ll definitely be back.

A few pro tips :

  • They usually close the road leading into the lakes for the kids triathlon.  This year it was about 820. So if you don’t want to sit in your car get there before that time.

  • Showers are available at the campground, they cost $2….so bring some change.  There is also a fresh water lake too…….

  • The Mussel, Kumara and Bacon Chowder at the Blah Blah Blah cafe in Dargaville is pretty awesome.  A great place to stop on the way home!