Coast to Coast is an iconic multisport racing event held each February on the South Island of New Zealand. Robin Austin Judkins, former New Zealand sports administrator, founded Coast to Coast in 1983, and has seen it grow from 25 to 1,000 athletes competing at every level in several individual and team challenge races, including running, cycling and kayaking.
The one day challenge race (aka the ‘World Multisport Championship’ or The Longest Day) was introduced in 1989 with a race course through rugged terrain and watercourse starting on the West Coast of New Zealand, traversing the width of the South Island, crossing the main divide, and finishing on the East Coast. Top athletes typically cover the 243km (151mile) course in amazing time (typically close to 11 hours), while competitors in other Coast to Coast race events will take two days to complete the same course, with an overnight camp at the end of the mountain run section.
2018 World Multisport Championship competitors start at Kumara Beach with a 3km sprint, then they pick up their bikes and follow the Taramakau River to the foothills of the Southern Alps where they switch bikes for runners to begin a challenging 30.5km mountain run.
The mountain run is a test of strength, speed as well as strategy. The course is mainly off-trail with rocky riverbed often the only direct path up the valley, multiple river crossings, and an elevation of nearly 800m before the descent at Goat Pass.
A short 15.5km road bike + run follows the mountain run. Then, the highlight of the race is a 70km kayak of the Waimakariri River where the water flows swiftly in places and mixes long calm sections with rapids up to grade 2 in size. It takes competitors from the heart of the Southern Alps out on to the Canterbury Plains where just one final 70km ride stands between competitors and the finish on the East Coast at the New Brighton Pier. Check out a Coast to Coast race course map →Here
Watch the action here!
If you missed the live broadcast of 2018 Coast to Coast competition, there’s still time to watch the event. Just click/tap the “Watch Again” button or choose from the video posts located on the video player below ↓
If you missed seeing defending champion, Sam Clark, come from behind to win the 2017 Coast to Coast Multisport Championship race in a time of 11 hours and 2 minutes, you can watch a video recording of this exciting competition. Just click/tap the “Watch Again” button on the video player below ↓
Watch as 8 paddlers set out on the dangerous Colorado River in an attempt to break the speed record through Grand Canyon (34hrs, 2 min) set in 2016 by Ben Orkin in a sea kayak
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Feature photo is courtesy of Pixabay/Pexels CC0