re-sized peak to pub race NZ

Oh how sorry I am to have missed this one…

OK, I’m a few days late, but if you’re into wild and wacky – then I suggest you think about going to New Zealand about this time next year for the 12th Columbia Peak to Pub race on Mount Hutt.

It happened on the 4th October and 100 people were not in the least deterred by the wild weather and the wacky new course features.

Huge weather swings are typical to New Zealand, but the competitors were certainly not expecting four different types of weather during the course of one day, including blizzards.

This was a triathlon style event involving skis or snowboards, bikes and shanks pony which started high on the slopes of Mt Hutt Ski Area with a mass start/run to the skis or snowboard, followed by a giant slalom style race down to the base area through gates.

Following that came the 19km bike ride at breakneck speed down the Mt Hutt access road where racers dumped their bikes and ran the next 11km, with a quick swim en route…

… to Methven to finish outside the iconic Blue Pub in the centre of Methven, for a very well deserved drink!

Steve Gurney, multi-sport athlete and ‘famous’ for the new kite buggy record of 2,500 km crossing the Sahara Desert with 3 friends (Craig Hansen, Geoff Wilson and Garth Freeman)  with wind power only, helped design the new course and it was his idea to add the ‘water feature’. “The course will be extra fun and extra competitive,” he promised.

“The Peak to Pub is so popular because it’s got that fun factor. It’s a bit whacky and it’s nice and short but still has a massive sense of achievement at finishing it. It’s also ideal for teams,” reckons Steve, three times winner of the event.

“The weather definitely added to the excitement and the water crossing was incredible to watch – the water was freezing!” said Event Organizer Paul Marks. “It added such a fun element to the event this year and will be seen again in the future.”

40% of the field decided to hit the water instead of taking the “dodgy” purpose-built log bridge further up stream!

We’ll keep you informed about race details for next year…

Image captions:

1) Ski to bike at Mt Hutt,

2) Jos Hoetjes, men’s winner, takes the plunge.

Both credit Tetsuro Mitomo

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