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Friday, February 16, 2007

Ironman New Zealand 

Each year, on the first Saturday in March, the people of Taupo, New Zealand, are used to their towns population doubling as 20,000 visitors descend on the town for the worlds oldest international Ironman event, on and around Lake Taupo. Actually, things kick off the weekend before, with the annual Cross the Lake Swim (4.2 km) and an Ironkids Triathlon, then there is a week of related events.

This year's Ironman New Zealand is 3 March, 2007, and features more than 1400 competitors from 39 countries. The race format is a 3.8km (2.4 mile) swim in the warm, clean, fresh waters of Lake Taupo, followed by a flat to undulating 179.2km (112 mile) cycle ride through spectacular scenery and then a 42.2 km (26 mile) marathon run to finish.

Lake Taupo is the largest lake in New Zealand and is a centre for all sorts of adventure sports. The lake contains rainbow and brown trout up to six pounds in weight, so is a magnet for trout fisherman; 30 rivers flow into the lake and fly fishing is a popular option with many companies organising fishing trips.

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