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Coast to Coast festival for Christchurch eastern suburb

Coast to Coast to provide massive boast for Christchurch eastern suburb

13 January 2015

Next month’s Speight’s Coast to Coast will provide a massive boast for the Christchurch quake damaged eastern suburb of New Brighton, with a festival being planned to welcome home competitors.

Live music, a large video screen, a wide range of food vendors and event sponsors displaying their products and services will accompany extended operating hours of New Brighton’s usual market and the live commentary and music provided by the event’s MC’s that organisers say will attract large numbers of spectators to watch finishers and soak up the atmosphere.

“We’re really trying to create a festival for competitors to finish at that will not only attract people supporting friends or family in the event, but will also draw people to New Brighton to just be part of the fantastic atmosphere,” Event Director Richard Ussher said.

After 32 years of finishing in Sumner New Brighton will host the finish line for the first time on Saturday the 14th of February, and Ussher says the local community has really embraced the event.

“The local surf club will be setting up its flags to swim between near the finish, just to the south of the pier, the Business Association has been really supportive and even local city councillor Glen Livingstone - who represents the area - is fronting up and doing the event. We’ve been really encouraged by the support we’ve had in bringing the finish to New Brighton; it will be a huge boost for an area that was hit so badly in the earthquakes.”

The new final bike leg will see competitors cycle from the Waimakariri River Gorge Bridge, heading east along South Eyre Road to the Main North Road where they’ll turn to the south and cross back over the Waimakariri River to head along Mashland, Prestons and Mairehau Roads before finally turning into Marine Parade in New Brighton to finish at the pier.

“The new final bike leg is almost exactly the same length as the previous one,” Ussher said. “And we don’t have the same traffic management challenges with busier city roads and traffic lights.”

He said a fireworks display off the end of the pier was also planned that should literally bring the event to a close with a real bang. He also stressed there were a range of new initiatives for next month’s event that will ‘bring it to life.’ They include live timing, GPS tracking, a new event APP and better use of social media.

With entries closing on Friday Ussher said organisers’ were very happy that numbers were well ahead of recent years but was looking forward to seeing a real surge in entire’s as Fridaygot closer.


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