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The Crowd Goes Wild Take Up Coastal Challenge

The Crowd Goes Wild Take Up Coastal Challenge

The brown jackets will be off when the presenters from PRIME’s popular weeknight sports news show The Crowd Goes Wild take part in this year’s North Shore Coastal Challenge.

Andrew Mulligan and Mark Richardson will be among hundreds taking part in the annual running event on 8th March on Auckland’s North Shore.

Multisport athlete Gordon Walker, Commonwealth Games runner Robbie Johnston and former All Black and Sky Sport presenter Ian Jones are helping the guys prepare for the event. Andrew says his training is going well considering he has never entered anything like this before.

“I’ve been running a trail called Okura on the North Shore that’s about 17km of hills and beach running which has been really good for my aerobic base,” he says.

The Coastal Challenge begins in Arkles Bay, Whangaparaoa with the finish line 33km away in Devonport. Runners have the option of starting at different stages along the route – 22km, 16km, 11km and 6km. Because the course follows the coastline, participants are expected to swim, rock-hop and wade through water. In other words, there are no roads just water, sand and rocks.

Mark Richardson, former Black Cap and keen surfer, is doing the 33km, or the “full monty”. It includes swimming across two rivers, wading through waist deep water and scrabbling over rocks.

“My training has been pretty good. All I’ve had to do is run and run and run, but I pulled my hamstring so I’m a little annoyed.”

While Mark is hoping to cross the finish line in four hours and 30 minutes, it’s the last part of the course he thinks he will find a hard slog “The last 16km looks like a lot of straight running,” he says.

Andrew is aiming to complete the 22km section of the event and believes this could be the start of something new.

“Before I started I was really unfit and hadn’t done any training of this nature since…ever! And I’m definitely feeling better. The best thing is I’ll most likely continue this type of training for events after the Coastal Challenge.”

PRIME News –First At 5.30 presenter Kelly Swanson-Roe is entering the 16km section of the event.

A camera crew has followed Kelly, Andrew and Mark’s training and will also follow their progress on the day of the race. This will be made into a half hour programme which will screen on SKY Sport and PRIME at a later date.


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