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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.”

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