Coast To Coast 201801.02.2018
Intending participants from around the country are finalising their preparation for the iconic Coast to Coast multi-sports race which will take place on February 9th and 10th.
The endurance race runs annually and attracts numerous competitors, both from New Zealand and internationally. Many local Canterbury names also feature in the list of entrants.
The race, one of the world’s longest running multi-sports events, was founded in 1983 by Robin Judkins and began with seventy nine hardy athletes who took on the 243 kilometre challenge over two days. Today over 800 athletes line up for the event.
The two day race enables entrants with a range of varying skill levels to participate, while top athletes can complete the whole course in close to eleven hours. Competitors in the two day race take up to twenty total hours to complete it.
Competitors begin the race on the West Coast, at Kumara Beach and cross the width of the South Island, over the main divide and finish on the east coast at the Pier, New Brighton beach, Christchurch.
A variety of race disciplines are encountered within the event; running, cycling and kayaking, each capable of offering extreme conditions and scenarios depending on weather and physical skills.
Training for the Coast to Coast needs to be intense as confirmed by many of the local participants. The Malvern District is well represented in the event and has competitors in both the one and two day individual, as well as teams.
This year the event is running at capacity for the first time in almost a decade – and during its 35 year duration over 18,000 entrants have participated.
The Malvern News wishes local participants the best of luck and success in reaching whatever personal goals have been set.
While local Tig Dalley, is a first time entrant (in the two day individual), the Coast to Coast has long been on his bucket list.
“So this year I decided to go for it, taking a year off cricket to train,” he explained.
“For me it is a once in a lifetime thing, but taking up so much time training has certainly meant my wife Lilly has been burdened with more than she should have, so I thank her for this,” Tig added.
“I started training in March last year doing some running and biking around Darfield and in September I went on my grade two kayak course. Since mid October I have been kayaking, running and biking on a weekly basis and since Christmas I’ve been stringing them all together two to three times a week. As of last week I have started tapering off to rest for race day. The kayaking has been the biggest challenge for me, having never done anything remotely like it before; learning the skills has been an exhilarating experience,” Tig concluded.
Ex-local Wayne May is looking forward to competing in the Coast to Coast for a third time this year. “It’s an awesome event which I always enjoy,” he said. “It’s always great to have an event to train for which forces you to get up off the couch and lose some weight!”
This year Wayne is in a team with his cousin, Jackie Dwyer (from Ashburton).
“We caught up at a wedding last year and Jackie was keen to complete the running section of the race and looking for a paddler. I put my hand up and we created the team Mayday Mayhem,” he explained. “It’ll be the perfect opportunity to spend some quality time with my extended family.”