Ghost Road Enduro the longest descending race in NZ
The inaugural Ghost Road Enduro, a heli-assisted mountain bike race held between Ghost Lake hut and Lyell on The Old Ghost Road took on the weather and came out the winner. Organisers were all speculating just what the winning time would be and were surprised how quick the winners cut out the course.
The event is hosted by the Buller Cycling Club with the Ghost Road Enduro being the first official event to be staged on The Old Ghost Road. Dropped deep into our regions backcountry by helicopter, entrants raced four stages over 30 kilometres descending over 1,400 vertical meters making this the longest descending race of its type in the country.
"The course has never been closed to the public before and no one has ever had the opportunity to let go of the brakes and give it a good nudge." commented Race Director Adam Walker. "Needless to say we were all pretty shocked to see the winning time from Botsy Phillips was 1 hour 7 minutes. Megan Rose was part of a small womens crowd but gave the boys a run for their money with a respectable time of 1 hour 18 minutes."
“We were on the cusp of cancelling the race during the week leading up”, said Walker. “After a long spell of perfect weather we had a big weather system coming in right for race day. In the end we took the challenge and decided to run with it. It was touch and go all day but we ended up getting all competitors up to the start line thanks to our fantastic pilots”.
The field was a big mix coming from all over the country, stretching all the way from Auckland to Otago. There were even a handful coming from Europe, America and Canada.
“The Old Ghost Road really is something special for the West Coast. We were really excited to showcase such an asset for our region”, says Walker. “We were taken back by the adventurous spirit in our racers who travelled from far and wide to take the gamble. A big thanks also goes to all our supporters who made this all happen”.