Kathmandu Coast to Coast - Record numbers & times, plus highlights
Course changes, course records, and a new name on the women’s Longest Day trophy are all highlights from the 38th Kathmandu Coast to Coast which also saw a record number of 1,035 athletes competing in New Zealand’s longest-running Multisport event.
High rainfall in the headwaters of the Otira and Deception rivers forced organizers into a new ‘Plan B’ run course last Friday, meaning 649 athletes headed up over the Otira Viaduct for the first time in ten years. However, they were still able to experience plenty of off-road running after Race Director Glen Currie and former Race Director Richard Ussher re-invented the original ‘Plan B’ course over the last six years, which would have seen the athletes stick to Highway 73 for the entire 32 kilometres.
“If we’d made the decision any later, we wouldn’t have been able to get the off-road elements organised in time for Friday, so I’m really pleased we made that call,” said Currie.
Feedback received suggest the course was challenging and it was certainly better than running the entire course on the road, which was the outcome ten years ago, the last time the ‘Plan B’ course was activated due to bad weather.
Wellington’s Daniel Jones was the 1st to etch his name next to the new run course record in a time of 2:14:51. “This B course was a pretty good alternative. It’s got a massive mix of terrain, running up the Otira for the first time and running over the viaduct was a bit of a once in a lifetime opportunity, who knows if I’ll ever do that again. And some of the trails coming off Arthurs Pass are absolutely stunning. I come over this way a few times a year but have always focused on the Deception Valley and the Mingha.”
Rain at the main divide saw some of that water spill into the headwaters of the Waimakariri river which in turn provided perfect conditions for two new kayak records. Jones’s teammate and local kayak instructor Kate Cambie was pretty delighted to add her name to the history books, paddling the 67 kilometre stretch of the Waimakariri river in 4:03:44 to set a new women’s paddling record. “I’ve been paddling for a long time now and I’ve always seen myself in the shadows behind the girls that I have looked up to like Sophie Hart and Olivia Spencer-Bower and they have always been my paddle idols, so it’s great to have my name alongside theirs as well.”
“I wanted to go under 4 hours on my watch time and I was really happy that I was able to stick with a couple of boys who caught up to me at Woodstock and I dug really, really deep to stay with them and I managed to come into the bridge with them.” Cambie’s new record sits alongside a new men’s kayak record, of 3:41:14 set by Daniel Busch on Saturday.
Busch’s paddle record, along with solid efforts from Jeremy McKenzie and Patrick Higgins, ensured Marlborough’s Forrest Wines claimed the three-person team title ahead of Topsport Kayaking #2 which included last year’s second and third-placed getters in the Men’s Longest Day Sam Manson and Alex Hunt.
Jones, Cambie and cyclist Sam Horgan won the three-person team mixed category in 10 hours, nine minutes and forty seconds ahead of Further Faster and Envirowaste, who also claimed the Corporate title, while Quad Fury, made up of Sarah Helmore, Penelope Watson and Juliann Simeonid, snuck across the finish line a shade under the 13-hour mark to claim the women’s three-person team title ahead of ‘Are we there yet’ and ‘Girls are on’.
Christchurch’s Bevan Jones got the surprise of his life on Sunday morning following his win in the men’s two-day individual race; collecting an entry into next year’s men’s longest day race as part of his prize. “I opened the old envelope as a prize winner and I saw a free entry into the individual next year so that’s upped the game, I wasn’t expecting it. It’s non-refundable or not redeemable for cash so I might have to get into it, I wasn’t anticipating that, but I’ll take a little time and rest up a bit before I start to think about it.”
“It’s an amazing effort, a lot of time and effort went in (to get the win), it was pretty tough missing last year’s race because I got injured just before the event, so another year of training and I managed to get across the line.” Jones added.
Team CP’s Richard Greer bagged the silver medal behind Jones but earned the men’s two-day individual veteran title in 11:32:59 with Jason Dobson getting home in third.
Just five minutes separated the three podium getters in the Women’s Two-Day individual event with Courtney Prestage crossing in 12:57:38 Trish Hastie in 13:01:44 and Hannah Lund in 13:02:16
Wakatipu High School were the inaugural winners of the Sport Canterbury Secondary Schools trophy, winning the school's mixed category reaching the finish line in New Brighton in 12:23:49. Porirua’s Aotea College took home the girls title in 16:17:40 while Christchurch Boys High was the first overall school team home in 12:17:47.
Josh Harris and David Slater headed off Richie McCaw and Rob Nichol by eleven minutes to win the men’s tandem title, while Nicole Radburns and Alice Mullins swept the women’s tandem in 14:22:48, Athletes powered by MITOQ got across the line in the mixed tandem ahead of Regretti Spaghetti and Windy City Multisport.