Record Field Competes In North Face Peak To Peak
Record Field Competes In The North Face Peak To Peak 2008
Some of the South Island's best multisports competitors provided much of the excitement in the record field, made up of 97 teams and 51 individuals, in The North Face Peak to Peak race from The Remarkables to the Coronet Peak Ski Area on Saturday (July 19).
Race Director Geoff Hunt says the event continues to be a big drawcard and a feature of the field, which included former Olympic cyclist Glen McLeay of Invercargill and leading multisport paddlers Ian Huntsman and Paul Massie of Christchurch, was the large number of secondary school teams fielding entries.
"Obviously it is great for the event to attract the elite athletes but it is also exciting to see younger competitors, who will be the future podium finishers, taking part."
The 44km race started at the top of the Shadow Basin lift at The Remarkables in very windy, snowy conditions but the remainder of the event was raced in excellent weather.
Following the ski/snowboard run,
cyclists rode down The Remarkables access road
to Frankton Beach, on a hard and fast road, with a number of competitors completing the 17km cycle in around 26 minutes. Lake Wakatipu was calm with a tail wind and Huntsman, racing for Physio Med Pain Management of Christchurch, and Massie competing for The Mob, also of Christchurch, completed the 7km paddle in a record 30 minutes.
A challenging 9km run from Queenstown led to the change over to the cycle near the base of Coronet Peak for the final 9km sprint.
The open team section which is the most hotly contested category saw 2007 defenders Physio Med Pain Management bumped into second place by The Mob, but only after a hard fought battle.
The two teams were neck and neck at the change over to the Coronet Peak cycle but The Mob's cyclist Scott Wilder managed to make the break over Phil Patterson and put his team over the finish line in 2.08.47 just ahead of Physio Med in 2. 13.57
Queenstown's R& R Sport team was a close third in 2.14.34 after a very aggressive ride up the mountain by cyclist Mark Williams.
Four Hounds and a Fox of Queenstown won the mixed teams' race after heading into the final section in a commanding position. Coronet Peak ski patroller Erin Greene had an excellent ride to the finish, clocking 2.20.09. Alpine Choppers team from Queenstown/Wanaka put up a strong challenge to finish second in 2.22.19. Last year's winner, Physio Med of Christchurch, was third in 2.28.30.
The business house category, which had the largest number of competitors was highly competitive, with line honours going to Grumpy Old Men and Jack from Alexandra in 2.28.22, Rationale of Queenstown was placed second in 2.32.01 just 19 seconds ahead of Cycle Surgery Invercargill in 2.32.20.
The secondary schools' section, made up of ten teams was won by St Kevin's Gold of Oamaru in 2.31.14. The team Too Many Chiefs and Not Enough Indians won the Women's Veteran section in 2.42.28, Wanaka Joinery Glass Ltd won the Veteran Men in 2.36.24 and first place in the Veteran Mixed went to Peaked Too Early of Queenstown in 2.56.35.
The fastest individual man was notable Christchurch multisporter Glen Currie, who managed to hold his lead to cross the finish in 2.21.39 ahead of Wanaka's Phil Wood who finished second in 2.23.11. Glen McLeay who showcased his renowned biking skills was third fastest just over a minute behind in 2.24.36.
Louisa Davis of Queenstown had a clear win in the women's individual section clocking 2.45.14 ahead of Christchurch's Rebecca Rae in 2.52 19.
The first veteran woman was Samantha Wright of Queenstown in 3.12.37 secs and Ray Hope of Dunedin successfully defended his 2007 title to win the veteran men's section in 2.34.38.
Hunt says The North Face Peak to Peak has a very high profile on the South Island multisport calendar and he paid tribute to The North Face and the many other sponsors for their strong support and contribution to the overall success of the event.