Manfeild perfect for duathlon
OPPORTUNITY to compete in an environment similar to a roadscape but without the issues of traffic makes Manfeild a perfect location for an impending duathlon at the Feilding facility.
A successful outcome of the cycling and running event, to stage on the circuit on the morning of June 10, might lead to Manfeild being favourably considered for higher status competition in the future.
These thoughts are expressed by Barrie Eccles, treasurer of the Manawatu Triathlon Club, which is organising the upcoming interclub race.
His own participation in last year’s six-hour cycling challenge, an annual event staging again this Sunday (May 20), opened his eyes to the circuit’s appeal.
Risk mitigation is always a concern when racing in a public area, he said. Even when racing at another favoured local venue, Linton Army Camp, there is still a chance of riders having to share the road with vehicles.
“Manfeild is a great location because you just have no traffic – from a safety point of view, it could not be more ideal.”
The opportunity to compete at a major motorsport venue also held appeal, he added.
“That’s why we are inviting other clubs from around New Zealand ... we’re thinking that a chance to ride on Manfeild will be an attraction in itself as they would normally not get that kind of opportunity.”
If it passes muster, he’s keen to propose Manfeild as a venue for national-level racing.
“The national duathlon champs draw people from all around the country and is a selection race for world events.”
Meantime, though, focus is on this race – or, rather, these races, as there will be four running cumulatively within a 9am to 11.30am time frame, each based on age and experience.
There are short, medium, long and championship distance races, two each on the ‘A’ course – comprising Manfeild: Circuit Chris Amon and the adjacent Manfeild track extension – and a ‘B’ course limiting to Circuit Chris Amon.
The shortest distance delivers two 1.7km running stretches interspersed by a 5.5km cycle.
The longest comprises just under 30kms’ cycling and 12.5kms’ of running.
The latter ‘championship’ course will provide competitors the rare chance of being able to draft on the cycling leg; elevating the competition’s intensity.
Seeing so much activity on Circuit Chris Amon will provide plenty of excitement for competitors and spectators alike, he believes.
“Being able to see all of the racing, all of the time, will be great.”
Manfeild Park chief executive Julie Keane says the event provides yet another reminder about the venue’s potential to host a wide diversity of events.
“I’m also delighted that we are seen as a safe haven for a sport that attracts interest from not only adults but also children.
“Our investment in the National Driver Training Centre provides a strong signal about the importance of road safety to us; to be able to assist in allowing athletes to enjoy their sport without the threat of traffic is very satisfying.”
Caption: Manawatu Triathlon Club president Dave Scott, left, and treasurer Barrie Eccles are keen to race on ManfeildBack