Grand tra­verse num­bers build­ing

Moun­tain run of­fers new chal­lenge

Kapi-Mana News - - SPORT - By KRIS DANDO

The or­gan­is­ers be­hind the Porirua Grand Tra­verse have added an­other string to its bow, with a chal­leng­ing moun­tain run con­firmed in this year’s pro­gramme.

The event, in its sev­enth year, takes place on April 1 but there is noth­ing fool­ish about the train­ing needed to ac­com­plish the elite mul­tisport sec­tion.

The bike leg be­gins in Bat­tle Hill and comes down through Can­nons Creek into the city be­fore the run leg takes com­peti­tors up to Colo­nial Knob, down to­wards Ti­tahi Bay – with spec­tac­u­lar views out to­wards Mana Is­land – through Whi­tireia Park and down to the polytech­nic.

If that isn’t gut-bust­ing enough, there is a 10km kayak through to Pau­ata­hanui In­let and back, to fin­ish.

Last year’s elite win­ner, Mar­cel Ha­gener, will be us­ing the tra­verse as a warm-up for a big event in China, one of the or­gan­is­ing com­mit­tee, Martin Ro­se­vear, told KapiMana News.

‘‘He’s told us he loves the fact it’s a safe, well-run event, per­fect prepa­ra­tion for him.’’

Mr Ro­se­vear said the num­ber of com­peti­tors was ‘‘on track’’ for what they ex­pected.

A duathlon, youth chal­lenge and a fun/run walk – the lat­ter rais­ing money for World Vi­sion – bring an in­clu­sive, com­mu­nity flavour to the event. Added to the ros­ter this year is a 19km moun­tain run, which many of the Har­rier clubs are ex­pected to en­ter. Run­ners will get ac­cess to tracks that are not usu­ally open to the public.

‘‘We’re try­ing to de­velop more of a fes­ti­val feel, our phi­los­o­phy is about mak­ing it more ac­ces­si­ble to any­one and ev­ery­one. We have such a bril­liant space to do this in Porirua. It is among the most beau­ti­ful scenery you will see.’’

Mr Ro­se­vear ad­mits it is a ‘‘huge lo­gis­ti­cal ex­er­cise’’ to bring the event to­gether but there is a ded­i­cated com­mit­tee who work hard to cover all the bases.

The Red Cross and Porirua City Coun­cil’s Emer­gency Man­age­ment Team use the Porirua Grand Tra­verse for train­ing.

‘‘ The or­gan­i­sa­tion has be­come more than the event for a lot of us, there’s a lot of at­ten­tion [paid] and plan­ning done. The grand tra­verse is spread over 40 or 50km, on land and water and we have over 100 vol­un­teers de­ployed on the day.

Last year was an eye- opener [when there was a nasty fall by one of the riders] but we han­dled it well, it showed we have the right sys­tems in place.’’

For more in­for­ma­tion about the cour­ses and how to reg­is­ter go to pgt.org.nz

Lac­ing up: Matt Wood, with a lit­tle help on this oc­ca­sion from 20-month-old son Sa­muel, is train­ing hard ahead of the Porirua Grand Tra­verse on April 1. A re­cent melanoma scare has reaf­firmed his reliance ‘‘on God, fam­ily and friends’’, he says.

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