Home' Whangarei Leader : February 12th 2013 Contents 4 WHANGAREI LEADER, FEBRUARY 12, 2013
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Excitement and enthusiasm is
in the air for this weekend's
free interactive arts festival.
ArtBeat -- the Big Picnic
will be held at the Cafler Park
rose gardens on Saturday
from 10am to 4pm.
ArtBeat has been held in
November for 15 years but for
its sweet 16'' the event this
year is on February 16.
New co-ordinator Juanita
Cleaver says the date has
been changed so the event can
be part of the Endless Sum-
mer Festival and for better
The long range forecast for
Saturday is looking fine and
Juanita encourages families to
bring a blanket and stay for
There will be all-day enter-
tainment including music,
dance, roving performers and
a body painting display. A
highlight will be performances
by Northland Youth Theatre
and Whangarei Youth Music.
Since inception ArtBeat has
hosted a range of arts stalls,
offering an interactive oppor-
tunity for families to discover
new ways of creating and
This year's festival also sees
a special focus on cultural
By DENISE PIPER
Iron resolve: Multisports is not all about winning but Shotara Hashimoto, 18, is
excited to be going to Las Vegas to compete in the Ironman 70.3 World
Photo: DENISE PIPER
A young multisports competitor
has achieved his wildest dreams by
qualifying for the Ironman 70.3
World Championships in Las
Shotara Hashimoto, 18, qualified
for the event by coming third in his
age division in Auckland's inaug-
ural Ironman 70.3 on January 20.
Ironman 70.3 is also known as
the half ironman and is longer than
an Olympic triathlon, covering 113
kilometres or 70.3 miles.
Sho completed the event with his
father Hide, elite triathlete Sam
Warriner and nine other members
of the Whangarei Triathlon Club.
Club member Mike Hardiman
has also qualified for the world
championships in the 40 to 44 age
Sho says he couldn't believe it
when he qualified, as he thought he
would need to be much faster. Just
50 of the 1000 competitors quali-
It's unreal, it's not realistic that
I could qualify. I never thought
that I could,'' he says.
But his time of 6hr 36min shaved
three minutes off his personal best,
despite him crashing during the
He crashed into a wayward cone
but fortunately neither he nor his
bike were hurt.
The incident made him more
cautious during the cycling but per-
haps left him some energy for a
Sho is no stranger to such
adversity. Before his first half iron-
man in late 2011, he had two
accidents but he refused to pull out
and ended up being the youngest
competitor to complete the race.
Sho now plans to approach busi-
nesses for sponsorship to the Las
Vegas event in September.
He has come a long way from the
shy 10-year-old who migrated to
New Zealand from Japan.
I didn't want to come to New
Zealand because I had my friends
there and I couldn't speak English
at all, I couldn't event write ABC,''
The former Tauraroa Area
School student just completed
NCEA Level 3 and has applied to
enter the navy.
Multisports is unlike any other
sport because it is not all about
winning, he says.
With triathlon you don't have to
be first -- just competing and com-
pleting it is important.''
Sho says Hide is his training
partner but everyone at the
Whangarei Triathlon Club gives
him motivation to get faster.
He now plans to complete a full
ironman before turning his atten-
tion to the world championships,
where he hopes to set another per-
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