Athletes challenged on day one of the biggest ever Kathmandu Coast to Coast
The timing mat stopped at exactly the same time for Christchurch’s Rob Lord and Kirwee’s Richard Greer as the pair reached the halfway mark of the Kathmandu Coast to Coast men’s 2-Day individual.
Photo Credit Kathmandu
Competitors cross the Otira River above
Richie McCaw leads a bunch of cyclists during the 2021 Kathmandu Coast to Coast
Cyclist ride through the West Coast settlement, Kumara.
Greer, who finished second overall last year, and Lord cantered into Klondyke, finishing the first bike leg and Mountain Run in five hours, 25 minutes and 42 seconds.
“It was never a focus coming into the event, but the closer it got the more I started to think about it” (winning), said Greer who is marking 20 years since his first Kathmandu Coast to Coast.
“It would be awesome if I was able to win the 2-day, but definitely yesterday if you said I’d be 1st equal at this point I’d take that every day of the week” Greer added.
The pair were part of 572 athletes who took on the 55-kilometer bike ride from Kumara Beach on the South Islands West Coast to Aickens corner where they switched the cycling cleats for off-road shoes and headed across the Otira River and up the Deception Valley before going over Goat Pass to finish 30.5 kilometers later at Klondyke Corner.
Greymouth’s Emma Wilson was the first female home in 6:11:24 and has a commanding 29 minutes and 44 second lead over Christchurch’s Adele McGregor and Jackie Eden who is a further minute back in third.
Former All Black Captain Richie McCaw and teammate Rob Nichol are in 5th place overall in the Tandem category, but second in the veteran division after McCaw turned 40 just over a month ago. McCaw said despite competing in his fourth Kathmandu Coast to Coast he still finds the event a big challenge.
“The feeling you get here now is what you enjoy about it. There’s bits and pieces when you’re in the middle of the run and you think, ‘I don’t know why I’m doing this’, but as is always the way when you get to the end and look back and you get that feeling like you’ve achieved something.”
“It doesn’t get any easier, and even if you might get a bit better at it you go a bit harder and it’s still just as hard. The last couple of times we perhaps haven’t nailed what we wanted to nail, and that’s what keeps you coming back to try and put it together. Like all of these sorts of races, we could do a bit more of this or do something with the river and I think that’s the whole intrigue of it.”
“The vibe of it, it’s great to be involved. It’s a pretty cool event and it gives you something each day to get up for and train and that’s pretty important.”
McCaw and Nichol crossed the chalk in 6:26:24 only two minutes behind rivals Bob McLachlan and Flavio Vianna.
Father and son pair of Phil and Reeve Dooney lead the Tandem Category in a time of 5:44:24 with characters Ashley Christie and Josh Payne sitting in third.
14-year-old Callum Brown flew across the 30.5k Mountain Run in four hours, nine minutes and 39 seconds, finishing sixth overall and first in the School category.
Off the back of some solid training over the summer the Greymouth high school student said he was aiming for around four hours, but cramped up a little on the way down off the pass. “Sometimes the extra water in the river is good because it helps numb things, but it was a pretty hard day.”
St Andrews College teen Molly Spark was the first female mountain runner home in 4:18:46.
Darfield diesel mechanic Devon Crequer sprinted home in three hours and 37 minutes 38 to win the individual Mountain Run.
1- Devon Crequer 3:37:38
2- Scott Smith 3:49:57
3- Kendan Gibson
3 Person Team
Four-time Longest Day champion Sam Clarke got his TopSport 3-person mixed team off to a flyer, before renowned mountain runner Daniel Jones stopped the clock at 4:27:20. The pair are joined by Kate Cambie who holds the women’s Kayak record of 4 hours and four minutes which was set last year.
Further Faster will head for New Brighton tomorrow by restarting the clock in second position at 4 hours and 58 minutes.
Two Person Team
Paul Massie and Robert Loveridge lead the 2 person teams’ section with Greymouth High Schools Finlay Brown and Clark Fountain slipping home in 2nd in 5:43:20
Dave Maitland who is competing in his 27th Kathmandu Coast to Coast, this time alongside brother Mark, sits in 3rd.
The 2-day athletes start in 2 minute waves at 07:00 tomorrow from Klondyke Corner, riding 17 kilometers to Mt White Bridge, before Kayaking 70k’s and then finishing with a 70k slog down Sth Eyre Road to end up at Christhurch’s New Brighton beach.
The Longest Day competitors start back on Kumara beach at 06:00.
1,200 athletes are contesting the 2021 Kathmandu Coast to Coast making it the biggest ever event in its 39 year history.