Multisport: Day dropped, swimming now an option

Goldrush race director Tim Pearson contemplates some of the new ground competitors will cover...
Goldrush race director Tim Pearson contemplates some of the new ground competitors will cover this year. Photo by Sarah Marquet.
After17 years of treading the same ground, Goldrush competitors will this year face a slightly different course.

There will also be an option to swim, instead of kayak.

Race director Tim Pearson, now of Christchurch, has been organising the race with his wife for the past four years and said it was time to freshen it up.

''Every stage has changed pretty much.''

The most significant change was dropping a day - the multisport race will now take place over two days instead of three.

The three-day event ''seemed quite intimidating for a lot of people''.

It is also being pushed back a week, to March 29 and 30.

As well as swimming options, there will be two new run routes - on day one competitors will run through the Bendigo Historic Reserve and on day two, they will run through Little Valley, past the Alexandra clock and over the Shaky Bridge.

Day one also includes a 54km kayak from the Outlet Motor Camp in Wanaka to Lake Dunstan, or a 3km swim from the Bendigo boat ramp, a 37km mountain bike over Thompson Gorge Track to Omakau, and a ride along the Otago Central Rail Trail back to Alexandra.

Day two also includes a 3km run to the boat ramp near the Alexandra Bridge, a 30km kayak to Lake Roxburgh, or a 2.2km swim, and 35km mountain bike over the Knobbies to Little Valley.

The finish line, usually at Molyneux Stadium, will be moved to the Alexandra Holiday Park.

This year, everything will be based at the park.

''Traditionally, we used to go up to the Upper Manorburn [dam] and everyone used to camp there and it was a really good atmosphere so we're moving to the campground to try and recreate that.''

Pearson said this was the first alteration to the event he knew of and so far he had received ''a lot of positive feedback''.

Last year, there were 175 entrants and entries were so far up by 50% on this time last year, 30% of whom have opted to swim instead of kayak.

Those numbers include eight college teams and last year's winner Scott Cole, of Sweden, who will be back to defend his title.

Pearson said tandem entries were encouraged and there would be tandem kayaks for athletes to use.

''So find a mate and do the whole thing together.''


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