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Porirua Grand Traverse attracts athletes and fun-runners


Last year’s fun run had 500 people. Photo: Benjamin Rose Photography.

There are not many events around that have serious multisporting on the same card as a family-oriented fun run, but the Porirua Grand Traverse is one.

The event, being held on Sunday 7 April this year, attracts about 1000 entrants. The split is even – half join whānau, friends or workmates in the 9km fun run from Titahi Bay Beach and through Whitireia Park, while the rest enjoy a more serious day out, running, paddling and biking a challenging and scenic course.

The Grand Traverse’s organiser, Michael Jacques, says creating a showcase for Porirua’s outdoors has always been the aim.

“It’s great to have that multisport option, where you can really be tested, but we also want to reflect our community and make it accessible,” he says.

Michael says the mountain biking is particularly popular these days, especially the 13km fun ride aimed at rookies and families.

“You start at Whitireia Polytech, go down past Porirua Stream, up beside Bishop Viard, into Rangituhi’s trails, then Spicer Forest, and do a loop. It’s very cool.”

He says the trust that runs the Porirua Grand Traverse still has dedicated members, and the event relies on more than 100 volunteers marshalling and doing other duties on the day – local sports groups, clubs and schools helping out to make it a real community event.

Seasoned triathlete Deborah Lynch, a New Zealand representative, will be in the field for the 12km kayak, 28km mountain bike and 18km mountain run multisport event. There is also a duathlon (mountain bike and run – solo and teams) and you can do paddle, bike and run-only races if you prefer.

Porirua Mayor Anita Baker says the Grand Traverse is etched into the city’s sporting calendar.

“It shows off Porirua in a positive light and that we are a healthy, adventurous and active city,” she says.

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26 Mar 2024