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R&R Sport Adventure Run tests teams

R&R Sport Adventure Run tests teams

Despite a chilly start over in Glendhu Bay near Wanaka, Albert Town’s Grant Guise and team mate Matthew Bixley of Dunedin beat off stiff competition to take out the R&R Sport Adventure Run title today (Saturday March 8).

Thirty-four teams set off under torchlight at 5am to into the backcountry to undertake the 49km race, creating a line of torches as they threaded through the valley.

They tackled terrain across the Motatapu and Soho Stations, on an old travellers' route between Wanaka and Arrowtown, an area steeped in New Zealand history.

Male winners Guise, 33, of Albert Town, and Bixley, 31, of Dunedin, racing as team Ultimate Direction, won the event in a time of 6hr 49min 07sec and were happy to have “smashed it”.

“There aren’t too many longer really technical races like this one and it was awesome,” said Guise.

“It’s very social being in a teams’ race. The plan was to do it in under seven hours and to win, so that worked out pretty well. “

Race partner Bixley said they took it easy early on in the race, in what he described as “perfect conditions”.

“Although it’s Grant’s first time, it’s the third time I’ve done it and the track’s in really good nick,” he said.

“We walked away from other teams on the fourth climb and the only fall I took all day was in the final stretch coming into finish. “

Ascending a total of 2790 metres, traversing four peaks (the highest point being Jack Hall's Saddle at 1275 metres above sea level), and negotiating rough tussock-covered areas, long, steep saddles and river crossings, the R&R Sport Adventure Run lived up to its reputation as being one not for the faint-hearted.

Veterans Phil Wood (44) and Ross Rotheram (42) from Queenstown and Christchurch respectively, raced as Fernhill Homebrew and posted 7:03:55 to come in second. “The hardest part was the hills, there’s 2800m of them, and they just catch up on you,” said Wood.

First womens’ team home was the Rock Hoppers from Christchurch in a time of 8:51:33 and second place went to Kai Whakapai Girls from Wanaka in a time 9:54:03 .


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