Rugged race is of age

Central Otago Mirror - - SPORT -

Ad­ven­ture race Peak to Peak is 21 years old and its founder Ge­off Hunt says the event’s hum­ble start seems like yes­ter­day.

Back in 1994 the idea was to in­clude the Re­mark­ables ski­field in Win­ter Fes­ti­val ac­tiv­i­ties.

This led to the ski­ing, moun­tain bik­ing and kayak­ing for­mat, which has not changed apart from a few mi­nor tweaks since its in­cep­tion.

Hunt said he doesn’t re­mem­ber the ex­act con­ver­sa­tion that led to the idea, but the first race at­tracted around 100 com­peti­tors.

These days around 500 people en­ter, ski­ing 2 kilo­me­tres down the Homeward Bound run, bik­ing 17km down the Re­mark­ables ac­cess road, kayak­ing from Frank­ton beach to Queen­stown bay, run­ning to Arthurs Pt and fi­nally, bik­ing up to the Coronet Peak base build­ing.

The win­ners of the first race were Ian Edmond and Jacinda Amey.

Hunt has in­vited past win­ners to race this year and gath­ered as many as pos­si­ble for a re­union evening at Heidi’s Hut.

‘‘It is fan­tas­tic that the event has reached this mile­stone and continues to re­ceive the great sup­port from the lo­cal racers and also from the mul­ti­sport cham­pi­ons of the coun­try.

‘‘I am look­ing for­ward to see­ing all the old faces.’’

One of the stal­warts of the race is Chris Dagg, who has com­peted ev­ery year since the first event. Mul­ti­sport ath­lete Steve Gur­ney won his first race in 1995 fol­lowed by the owner of R ‘n R Sport, Haydn Key, while the women’s sec­tion was won by Sue Car­na­han.

What a rush: Peak to Peak com­peti­tors race down the Re­mark­ables in 2009. What: Peak to Peak mul­ti­sport race 21 year an­niver­sary When: July 27 Where: From the Re­mark­ables to Coronet Peak More info: south­ern­tra­

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