New multi-sport race set to make a splash

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 28 September, 2005, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 28 September, 2005, 12:00am

A new aquathon - an event that combines running and swimming - hopes to attract more than 100 young participants and help develop multi-sport racing in Hong Kong.

Splash 'n' Dash, organised by sports management company Revolution Asia and supported by the Hong Kong Triathlon Association, will be held at the scenic Pui O beach on Lantau Island on Saturday.

It includes a shorter race - suitable for beginners - and a main event, which will provide important preparation for young athletes who are taking part in next week's ITU Hong Kong Triathlon.

Race director Nerida Rigg said the Challenge race (1km swim and 7km run) and the Sprint (350-metre swim and 3km run) will appeal to people with a wide range of skills. The entry fee

is $80 for juniors (19-and-under).

'The Sprint will suit junior athletes or people who are new to swimming and running,' said Rigg, who hopes to develop the sport in Hong Kong through her company, Revolution Asia.

'It will be great fun and safe. Participants will never be more than 80 metres from the beach, and it isn't deep water. It is within the shark nets, and there are life guards. The 3km run will send them 1.5km out of the village, and then they turn around and come back,' said the Australian-born Hong Kong resident.

The 1km swim and 7km run is a more serious event and a perfect warm-up for athletes who are planning to enter the ITU Triathlon, or for anyone who is looking for an exciting long-distance race.

'Multi-sport races are really taking off around the world,' said Rigg, who has been a triathlete for eight years. 'They've become very popular everywhere, and here in Hong Kong we have some fantastic locations.

'There has been a lack of multi-sport races for athletes to enjoy here, compared with other countries. We want to develop the sport and let more young people have a go at multi-sport racing.

'Aquathons are great events because they balance out people's varying abilities. Someone who is weak in swimming can catch up in running. It encourages people to develop skills in a wider range of disciplines. And, it's a lot of fun.'

Rigg said participants are welcome to set up camp overnight to get ready for the early-morning start. She added that there would be a beach barbecue party after the race.

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