10 February 2012

Men of Action: Coast To Coast Endurance Race 2012, Pt. 1

This years Coast to Coast endurance race has already gotten under way in New Zealand. Competitors have already completed the first day of the event, and left the New Zealand's west coast at 6am to face the first two segments of the challenge:

A 3km run and 55km cycle
The Mingha Deception Route Mountain Run, 33km

This is an internationally acclaimed adventure race and this year marks its 30th anniversary.

Leading the way in the men's group is 21 year old Nathan Bell. Amazingly this is his first attempt at the endurance race. His father has competed in the race before, however, Nathan only ventured in to adventure racing in summer 2011. For someone so new to the endurance sport, his excellent run over the Goat Pass where he overtook a dozen of his competitors is something to be admired.

Shockingly, Nathan stumbled on the mountain run, injuring himself, but in an example of a true Man of Action, he picked himself up and carried on. He's determined to finish his first race.  

But the a race win is not guaranteed for Bell. The Coast to Coast challenge is notoriously unpredictable and Bell has lead very close lead of 50 seconds. His nearest competitor, Mark Beasley is hot on his trail and Nathan Jones is 6 minutes behind him.

As this year marks the 30th anniversary of the endurance race, the organiser, Robin Judkins, has invited veteran competitors of the race to join him at the finish line at Summer Beach. They are all convinced that the race is still just as challenging as the first one.

One of the pioneer women racers, Vivienne Prince has acknowledged 'it is still a challenge' and although the equipment has improved, 'rivers and mountains don't change'.

Legendary runner Steve Gurney, who has won the event a record 9 times, is at the event to celebrate. A familiar face in the endurance race, last year he partnered with the race organiser for the team competition.

This 30th anniversary is a perfect time for the next generation of adventure runners to make their names known.

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