By the time you read this the 2016 Coast to Coast 2 day race competitors will have started on their 243Km epic journey from the west coast of the South Island of New Zealand to the East Coast, finishing at Sumner Beach in Christchurch. This is the event that I’m training for and this means that there is only 12 months to get me from couch potato to competitor.
I’ve not said much about the Coast to Coast in the past on this blog for a couple of reasons, firstly when I first started it seemed so far away that it wasn’t that important; and secondly because its actually a bit scary. But with 12 months to go its probably time to five you a quick overview of what the Coast to Coast actually entails…
The Coast to Coast (C2C) started in 1982, Robin Judkins and 11 mates decided to “race” from the west coast to the east coast, combining running, cycling and kayaking to cover the 243Km, this first race was a pretty low key affair and was run over two days. The first official race was the next year 1983 and 79 competitors turned up, far surpassing the 35 that were expected. The next two years saw the race grow in size with 130 then 320 entries in 1985, by now the event had become a bit of a global phenomenon.
If the two day race wasn’t difficult enough, in 1987 the one day event “The Longest Day” was introduced, which follows the same course but without the overnight stop half way. Needless to say I won’t be competing in this category next year.
The race today attracts around 800 competitors, from all around the globe and is a bit of a rite of passage among a certain type of person in New Zealand. While none of the disciplines and distances in and of themselves are super difficult, chained together they make this a fearsome beast of a race that demands more than just strength and endurance but also determination and a willingness to compete regardless of how your body is feeling.
There are a number of different categories these days including teams, tandems and even corporate and school teams. I will be competing in the classic two day race with my family as support crew to ensure that all my gear is ready and waiting for me at the transitions and to give me a pep talk to keep me going.
The total race is as follows
Day one finishes at the end of the mountain run.
Good luck to all those competing this weekend and to the organisers, I’ll see you next year.