27 January 2012

Men of Action: Reflecting on The Coast to Coast Race

The story of The Wild Geese has lived on through the ages. The faces may change, but the principals remain the same. Adventure. Survival. Achievement. In adversity they showed courage.

Steve Gurney is a modern day example of this. The adventurer has been competing in races for over twenty years and has become a familiar face at New Zealand's annual Coast to Coast Race.

Held every February, the Coast to Coast race demands a lot from it's competitors, who must traverse many different terrains from the West Coast to the East Coast of South Island. To do this, competitors must run cycle and kayak. The entire contest is 243 km (151 miles).

At 48, Steve Gurney has taken part in the race a staggering 18 times - and has won a record 9 times! So he is somewhat of an expert on the race. As he explains what has prompted him to keep going back for more, we can't help but visualise The Wild Geese when they left Ireland in 1691:

This is a testament to a modern day chapter of the story of The Wild Geese. These Men of Action were put in a dangerous situation, and decided to leave their homeland. But their taste for adventure propelled them to new worlds, but their skills and determination were the only tools they needed to prosper so far from home. This sentiment is still shared with adventurers today. Gurney enjoys something to strive for, which has resulted in a record setting 9 wins in the Coast to Coast race:

Although safety checks are in place, and adventurers today are much better prepared, endurance racing still holds its own dangers, and it is a mental commitment, as well as a physical one.

Steve has taken his ambitions and passion he injects into the Coast to Coast race and built a career out of them. He now works as a motivational public speaker. 

With this year's Coast to Coast fast approaching, ambitious participants will most likely be completing their final training programmes in preparation for the big two day event. It's good to know that modern day Men of Action are continuing to achieve remarkable things.   

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