The route features a single push, 2,000-metre climb, and a 25-kilometre section of downhill. That’s Himalayan trail for you.
WHAKATANE’S SAM CLARK MADE IT three wins in a row, while South African Robyn Owen claimed her first win in the Kathmandu Coast to Coast. Set on New Zealand’s South Island, the Kathmandu Coast to Coast is an annual multi sport race mixing trail running and cycling with kayaking down the Waimakariri River. Sponsored by the outdoor apparel retailer Kathmandu, the February event starts at the Kumara beach, crossing the main divide to finish in Christchurch. The women’s race lived up to expectations with Owen, second in her first attempt last year, crossing the finish line in 12 hours and 44 minutes, ahead of three-time world champion adventure racer Sophie Hart and Simone Maier in third. “It’s so good to get the result after all the hard work over the last few months,” Owen said. “It’s been a phenomenal goal and it’s great to be back here in New Zealand. I was pretty sure Sophie was catching me on the final bike and I was tied, feeling pretty spent after the paddle, so was so happy to hold on.” Already a two-time winner, Clark won again in a time of 11 hours and 14 minutes, when he put the hammer down in the kayak leg. Australian Alex Hunt was second coming home 30 minutes behind with James Prestto – another Australian – narrowly beating Kiwi Andrew Sclater to claim third ten minutes after Hunt. “Last year’s win was such a big thing for my career as it added credibility to my efforts as an athlete,” Clark said. “To come back and make it three it puts me amongst some pretty lofty company. It’s called the longest day for a reason, and what a long day it is. There’s no better feeling in the world, this is the greatest race.”