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24 Hours Of Southern Traverse

Adventure Racing Promoted Through 24 Hours Of Southern Traverse

Two high profile New Zealand adventure industry companies - Fairydown and Southern Traverse Ltd - are proactively working to encourage the growth of adventure racing in New Zealand, by creating new initiatives in this year's Fairydown 24 Hours of Southern Traverse, in Queenstown on November 15-16.

Southern Traverse Race Director Geoff Hunt says the aim of both Fairydown and Southern Traverse is to make adventure racing more accessible for a wider group of people and contribute to the expansion of the sport.

To achieve this there will be an incentive for younger athletes to enter the 24 Hours of Southern Traverse in November, as well as a separate relay style adventure challenge within the main event, to attract the "weekend warriors."

"Adventure racing is an exciting sport and one of the things we want to do, is ensure that younger people are able to compete with some of the older, professional athletes who can act as mentors and role models," says Hunt.

For this reason the 24 Hours of Southern Traverse will offer 10 complimentary entries to Under 23 adventure racing teams.

The Fairydown Southern Traverse at Hanmer Springs in April this year attracted the Under 23 team which included talented young racers Dougal Allan, Mike Walker, Mattie Graham and Emmah Ussher.

"The team made a real impression and signalled they will be among the podium finishers in the future," says Hunt. "These are the sort of young athletes we need to see competing regularly."

The Under 23 teams will be four members, with at least one woman athlete, or two member teams.

"We certainly expect to see quite a few young people put their hands up and get the opportunity for free entry into this challenging race."

"But we are also keen to encourage other people to have a fun, adventure race experience. We are targeting people who compete in triathlons, multisport and short adventure races and those who like to participate in teams," says Hunt.

The eight hour adventure challenge will include kayaking, mountain biking and run/trekking and will be held after the start of the main 24 hour event.
"The new race should appeal to people who currently compete in events like our Peak to Peak, and who are keen to try a new format. It allows a group of friends who like the relay format to get together, and complete an individual leg each and at the same time get a taste of adventure racing. This race doesn't need a support crew which is also a plus."

The Fairydown 24 Hours of Southern Traverse will be held for the third time this year and the secret course will cover 100kms of Wakatipu backcountry. The race kicks off at midnight on November 15 and disciplines involve trekking, including navigation, mountain biking and kayaking. The event is open to teams of four, which is the main category, and two person teams with everyone on the team completing each discipline.

"The course is very exciting this year and is designed not only to test teams, but also to allow them to have fun and enjoy the fantastic scenery," says Hunt. "They will need support crews and the fastest team should finish the course in 15 hours and the slowest in 24 hours."


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