40th Kathmandu Coast to Coast

  • New Zealand (NZL)
  • Off-Road Running
  • Off-Road Cycling
  • Paddling

Curveball thrown ahead of tomorrow's World Multisport Championship

Press Release / 11.02.2022See All Event Posts Follow Event
Ryan Kiesanowski paddling during the Coast to Coast
Ryan Kiesanowski paddling during the Coast to Coast / © Kathmandu Coast to Coast

Organisers of the famous Kathmandu Coast to Coast have been thrown another curve ball ahead of tomorrow’s 40th Anniversary event, with high river levels in the Waimakariri Gorge forcing a Plan B course change to the 70-kilometre paddle. 

The original course saw paddlers put in at Mt White Bridge just off State Highway 73 near the Arthurs Pass National Park and paddle through the narrow gorge before exiting at the Gorge bridge, between Sheffield and Oxford.

However, they’ll now bypass the gorge by bike, turning the original second cycle leg from a 17-kilometre jaunt into a 112 km grind from Klondyke, over the Porters Pass and down to Thompsons Road, just off the Old West Coast Road. There they’ll slip into their kayaks and dash 30 kilometres in the lower reaches of the Waimakariri down towards the motorway bridge in Kaianga, before getting back on their bike for an all-out sprint to the finish line in New Brighton, 12 kilometres away.

Race Director Glen Currie said as always athlete safety came first. “We’ve been monitoring the weather for the best part of two weeks now and while we hoped we could have run the original course, especially while celebrating the 40th Anniversary of the race, it's simply not feasible.”

Defending World Multisport Champions Dougal Allan and Simon Maier both agreed that the course changes were a sensible decision.

“The weather has certainly been a hot topic of conversation this past week,” said Maier. “Glen and his team have a lot of experience in this area, as well as being racers and adventurers themselves so it’s best to leave these decisions up to them. I know they have our best interest as athletes in their minds.”

“As a multisporter you come to expect the unexpected and this is just one of those things.” said Allan. “I remember racing in 2010, the last time the course was changed and while we would have loved to have the original course. We all stand behind the decision.”

Allan said the change in course would no doubt change a few tactics for competitors in the World Championship Longest Day, “Kayaking is one of those disciplines you have to put a mountain of work in to be good at, and no other multisport requires that same level as the Coast to Coast, so with a shortened kayak, I’m sure it’ll shake things up a bit. It’s definitely evened things up a bit for the better cyclists in the group.” 

Competitors will start in bubbles of 50 from 5:40am tomorrow morning. 

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