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Green MP gears up for 21st Coast to Coast

Green MP gears up for 21st Coast to Coast

Green MP Mike Ward is tackling the gruelling Coast to Coast endurance race this weekend for the 21st time - the only person to have participated in every event since its inception.

Mike Ward, spokesperson for Sports, Fitness and Leisure, congratulated the Coast to Coast for 21 successful years of international acclaim and cementing New Zealand's stature as adventure mecca of the world.

"New Zealanders have a reputation for excelling at wilderness sport, adventure and endurance, and much of the credit for this can be given to the single race and the vision, hardwork and tireless promotion of organiser Robin Judkins," he said.

"It's remarkable that in 21 years the event's appeal hasn't waned at all, demonstrated by the hordes who will line up and race throughout the day and night."

Although he isn't the oldest competitor to race, 60 year-old Mike said his 21 years of racing haven't dampened his enthusiasm for the Coast to Coast.

"It's still exciting to race from one side of my country to the other, under my own steam and within the most beautiful of environments.

"As you get older, it certainly doesn't get any easier so it's still a challenge to see if you can do it."

Time and the rigours of parliament have caught up with Mike this year, who has opted for the two-day race after competing in every one-day event for the last 15 years.

"When they introduced the one day event in 1987 I accidentally filled in the wrong entry form and I've been doing the 'Longest Day' ever since. But last year was a disaster and I had the longest Longest Day ever - annoying the organisers no end - so I've opted for the two-day cruise this time around."

Mike will be starting the two-day event from 7am, Friday February 7 at Kumara Beach, alongside 699 fellow competitors.

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