Wow … what scenery. What terrain to run an extreme race through.
Southern Traverses’ Macpac 24 Hour weekend got off to a flying start on Friday night at midnight at the Greenstone, with a 14km trek to Lake Rere and Mt Bastard. There was a full moon and clear, calm conditions.
A 21km mountain bike stage took competitors from Kinloch to Paradise and this was followed by a 9km trek in Paradise Conservation Park alongside the Dart River which proved to be tough going.
Once having reached the Dart River the competitors paddled across to gain access to an 11km trek on Sugarloaf.
“It was incredibly windy by this time but the temperature remained in the 20’s, says Hunt, “so it wasn’t unpleasant racing, just a bit tougher coping with the wind.”
A final paddle followed the Dart River for 7kms to finish at Paradise with a 2km run to the finish line where champagne awaited the winners.
Aurum Survey represented by New Zealand orienteering representative Bruce McLeod and top multisporter Phil Wood, won the race as predicted. They completed it in 19 hours 42 minutes. “Their combined orienteering and multisport skills definitely made them the strongest team on paper and they lived up to expectations,” says Hunt.
But the exciting event was the placing, on the podium, of an Under-23 team, One2onemultipsport.co.nz, a team made up of Dougal Allan, Mike Walker, Mattie Graham and Emmah Ussher, who finished the race in 22hrs and 21 secs, finishing runner-up to the experienced and talented two man Aurum Survey Queenstown team.
“They were chuffed to finish a Southern Traverse course and with the sort of talent they and the other Under 23 competitors are displaying New Zealand adventure racing is in good hands,” says Hunt. “One2onemultisport.co.nz beat some other very experienced teams and these are the athletes who will carry on the tradition of the sport. At the World Adventure Racing Championships in Brazil in October the New Zealand team Orion Health.com not only won the event but seven out of the top twelve racers competing were Kiwis, numbers which speak for themselves.”
The eight hour adventure challenge introduced for the first time this year began at the Greenstone with a rough paddle on Lake Wakatipu at 8.00am on Saturday.
“There were a few capsizes but the Wakatipu Coastguard did an excellent job getting everyone back in the race again,” says Hunt.
The eight hour race involved paddling, trekking and biking and was won by Mike Kelly from Queenstown in 4hours 09 mins ahead of Aaron Scott of Christchurch in 4 hours 22mins.