The Motu Challenge has decided to keep supporting elite athletes by offering more prize money.
Over $10,000 of prize money will be awarded to athletes across 4 events at this year's Motu Challenge. The organising committee decided to up the prize pool despite a lack of a naming rights sponsor and increasing operational costs.
The twenty-three year old event has always had a reputation for supporting developing athletes. Athletes from across New Zealand have travelled to the Eastern Bay of Plenty town of Opotiki to participate in arguably New Zealand's second toughest multisport event. Numerous athletes including Steve Gurney, Nathan Fa'avae and Elina Ussher have all pocketed a bit of Motu cash when at the peak of their careers.
Pressure has come on the event over the last 10 years due to a drop in participants and loss of sponsorship. The event has continued on innovating with the introduction of an all cycling event the Riverlock Motu 160 and more recently a Motu Duathlon. Numbers are growing and the event organisers are confident that the event will continue for another 23 years.
Race organiser Marty Madsen was concerned by pressure to drop the cash prizes saying " We now have four adult races including the Motu 160 and Motu Duathlon long and short courses. The winners in these events also deserve cash prizes. We really want to support the top athletes and having some prize money is a good way to encourage the elite guys to keep coming back."
Along with around $7000 in category prizes there is also a $3,000 incentive for the team who breaks the record for the multisport event. The women's record set in 2008 by Beach Turtles is 8 hours 15 minutes and 18 seconds. The men's record set in 2001 by Spokes Cycles/Century 21 is 6 hours 21 minutes and 14 seconds.
The organising crew are also keen to support youth and are working on a package to encourage more school aged students to enter. To find out more about the event and the prizes visit www.motuchallenge.co.nz
Check out the cask prize table here.