Coast to Coast gets underway

Chris Lynch
Chris Lynch
Feb 08, 2024 |

Robin Judkins sounds the starting horn. Image: Kathmandu Coast to Coast.

The annual multisport event the Coast to Coast has started on the West Coast with the Two-Day Individual Race.

Early this morning, race ambassador Robin Judkins sounded the starting horn at Kumara Beach, south of Greymouth.

Held every February, the race traverses the width of the South Island, crossing the main divide and finishing on the East Coast with the finish at the New Brighton Beach Pier, Christchurch. 

Two Day Individual Race competitors. Image: Kathmandu Coast to Coast.

According to the Kathmandu Coast to Coast website, the competitors run 2.2km inland to their waiting bikes. They then follow the Taramakau River to the foothills of the Southern Alps where they switch their bikes for sneakers.

The 30.5km run is mainly off trail with the rocky riverbed often the only direct line up the valley. Competitors encounter multiple river crossings with frigid crystal clear water and an elevation gain of nearly 800m on their way to Goat Pass and the start of the descent.

A short 15km ride follows before they tackle the Waimakariri River. The 70km river section is for many both the highlight and the crux of the race. The water flows swiftly in places and mixes long calm sections with rapids.

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 at the pier amongst a vibrant beachside festival.

While the One Day athletes complete the distance in a day, the majority of competitors take two days to cover the same course, with an overnight camp at the end of the mountain run stage.

Two-Day Teams are up next.

Two Day Individual Race competitors. Image: Kathmandu Coast to Coast.

Chris Lynch
Chris Lynch

Chris Lynch is a journalist, videographer and content producer, broadcasting from his independent news and production company in Christchurch, New Zealand. If you have a news tip or are interested in video content, email [email protected]

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