Safety behind new start for iconic event
Mountain to Surf is back for 2018.
Come March 3, road runners from across the country, and further afield, will converge on Taranaki to compete in the scenic marathon event.
‘‘It’s very beautiful, it’s very very scenic. It covers everything. You’re coming down from the mountain so you’ve got that sort of environment, and then of course down along the coast,’’ said co-director of the event Fiona Parkinson.
Bayley’s Mountain to Surf has gone the distance since 1980, with entries up by 40 compared to this time last year. While the mountain and the sea have stayed the same, the event has had a number of changes.
This time around, the starting post for the half marathon will shift to Lepperton and connect up to the full marathon route to finish at New Plymouth’s East End Beach.
‘‘The change was purely for safety reasons,’’ said Parkinson.
The half marathon was introduced in 2014, since then its popularity has steadily increased, with 196 entries last year in the 21.1km race and 194 in the 42.2km race, as well as team runners.
Many people use the shorter race as a training ground to compete in a marathon further down the track. The full marathon has a
‘‘It's very beautiful, it's very very scenic’’
This event is very special and we don't want to lose it
reputation as being a fast race, and appealed to serious runners who wanted to clock in a good time on their records.
Parkinson said as a whole, Mountain to Surf had something for everyone and a lot of competitors come from abroad.
‘‘Our point of difference, and it has always been a difference, is that it’s from the mountain to the sea,’’ she said.
‘‘As far as marathons around New Zealand go, that’s fairly unusual and kind of special.’’
Bayleys Mountain to Surf marathon selected the Taranaki Retreat, as its charity partner for 2018. People can support the suicide prevention initiative by donating on their entry form or by competing and raising funds through sponsorship.
Parker said this event would not be possible without the volunteers who give their time and support from the local businesses.
The marathon kicks off from the gates of Egmont National Park, the half marathon starts from Lepperton Hall, Richmond St, and the half marathon twoperson team relay starts from Lepperton School with the changeover at Corbett Rd. All the races finish at the East End Reserve.
For more information and to enter visit mountaintosurf.co.nz
mountain to Surf codirector Fiona Parkinson passionate about the marathon and Taranaki retreat.