Scott Cole comes in to the exchange of the multisport leg
after taking a fall during the Motatapu endurance race.
Photo by Olivia Caldwell.
Despite eight injured competitors and a disrupted start,
organisers say the ninth annual Motatapu endurance race on
Saturday near Wanaka, has been one of the best.
The race got off to a slow start on Saturday morning when one
of the buses organised as transport from Arrowtown to Wanaka
did not show up, leaving more than 40 competitors stranded
for over half-an-hour.
Motatapu race director Geoff Matthews said he was
disappointed by the hiccup, which was the result of one of
the contracted bus drivers not showing up to work.
However, Mr Matthews said it was important not to focus on
the negative, and the hour late start for marathon runners,
plus a 15-30 minute delay in the mountain bike and
multi-sport races was unlikely to have affected the results.
''It's hugely disappointing. At the end of the day I am sure
it didn't effect anyone's performance.''
The marathon runners were scheduled to begin at 8am, but were
delayed until 9am.
Mr Matthews said radio contact from organisers in Arrowtown
indicated the bus would be just 30 minutes late to the
starting location at Glendhu Bay, and had they known it would
be an hour, they would have started the race on time.
''We need to look at the big picture; it is a massively
successful event and people arrived at the finish line
In a separate incident, another bus driver drove his vehicle
into a ditch near the starting line after dropping off
competitors in the race.
There were no passengers on board at the time and no-one had
been injured. Mr Matthews said logistically speaking it was
hard to get everything correct in an event with 3760 plus
competitors, yet they managed to get most to the finish line
uninjured and on time.
Eight athletes were taken to Lakes District Hospital at
Frankton on Saturday with injuries.
St John communications officer Kelvin Perriman said a
49-year-old woman with a head injury was taken to hospital by
helicopter, while seven others with mainly hip and shoulder
injuries were taken by ambulance.
''This was probably a small number of injuries considering
the amount entered and doing the race,'' he said.
''I don't think that any [injuries] were particularly
serious; just the odd scrape here and there.''
One patient with a hip injury was transferred to Southland
Hospital in Invercargill. Mr Matthews said the number of
injuries at this year's event was either on a par or below
the average number of injuries received each year, and it was
an impressive statistic considering the nature of the
competitive and fast-paced events.
''That is probably the least we have ever had. That is
remarkably low statistic.''
The 51-year-old race director, who also competed in the
triathlon event, said the field of athletes was phenomenal,
and predicted the event would sell out quicker than usual in
its 10th year.
''A lot will want to come back. This has got to be the most
unique course in the world.
''It's been another incredible, successful year.''