Total Sport’s Mark Fordham says after the postponement of the event in 2020, it bounced back with 740 competitors in 2021 – 10 people shy of the record turnout.
"The introduction of the Mild Kiwi Multisport (5km kayak, 18km mountain bike and 10km run) event for the first time this year is where we believe we will see a lot of growth in 2022,” says Mr Fordham.
We are finding people are increasingly focussed on their fitness and wellbeing and we have a lot of new people entering events because they are re-evaluating where their lives are heading."
“Because people are not travelling overseas we are also finding people are using events as a way to see parts of New Zealand they otherwise would not visit. The Northpower Wild Kiwi is a classic example of that with people venturing to Whangarei Heads which would normally be off the beaten track. We believe there will be a lot of growth in the Mild Kiwi and the Kids Dash in 2022. It was great to see over 60 kids start and finish in their Northpower sponsored capes and cross the finish line to a Pak’N’Save sponsored lunchbox, both went down a real treat. The Mild Kiwi breaks down barriers as an introductory multi-sport event for first timers.”
The Northpower Wild Kiwi is Northland’s largest multisport event and it attracted over 120 Northpower staff alone – one keen competitor completing the 8km event on crutches due to a knee reconstruction … and to support his wife! It is the first time someone has completed a Total Sport event on crutches.
Northpower’s General Manager of People and Capability Andrea O’Brien says the event has been pivotal to the company’s wellbeing journey in recent years.
We started out with the Taupo Ultra-Marathon in 2018 and the Northpower Wild Kiwi was a perfect fit for the health and wellbeing of our staff,” says Ms O’Brien.
Hundreds of Northpower staff have now competed in multiple off road events – a fitness, dietary and wellbeing journey that has been life-changing for many.
In fact in 2019, Ms O’Brien ran every day of the year in her own personal challenge.
"The biggest thing is the connections people make with workmates and other competitors. Going out at lunchtime for runs, having their families join in and seeing different parts of New Zealand has been great. And of course we love bringing people to Northland and showing off our wonderful scenery and the work of the Bream Head Conservation Trust. We are certainly looking forward to continuing to support the event and the Trust."