Growing interest in 24-hour challenge

NEIL RATLEY
Last updated 05:00 25/01/2013

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Entries are flowing in for the third annual Stump the Hump 24-hour walk.

The event challenges endurance sports people and adventurous trampers to complete the 55-kilometre Hump Ridge Track loop in 24 hours.

Tuatapere Hump Ridge Track general manager Trish King said organisers hoped for a capacity field of 250 participants.

"The event has grown in popularity during each of the years it has been held," she said.

With about 40 starters in its inaugural year, entries were flowing in from across New Zealand and further afield.

Trampers will set off from Rarakau at midnight, trekking over sandy beaches and through ancient podocarp forest, reaching the subalpine Okaka Lodge to enjoy hot porridge and watch dawn break over the Takitimu Mountains, Stewart Island and the Southern Ocean.

They will then walk down the Hump Ridge as the sun rises, through untouched beech forest and across historic viaducts.

They will arrive at Port Craig in time for lunch before finishing with a stroll through native forest to Bluecliffs Beach.

With the proposed closure of the Percy Burn Viaduct, Mrs King said the Stump the Hump would provide an ideal opportunity for people to walk across one of the highest remaining timber trestle bridges in the world.

While Stumpers challenged themselves on the 55km track, residents, visitors and supporters would be able to keep themselves entertained in Tuatapere with the community's inaugural Fun Day.

The day would include art, entertainment, food, history and various activities.

The event would coincide with the Waiau Art Trail, which would feature work from 25 artists from the Waiau area at six venues around Tuatapere.

Exhibitions will include paintings, ceramics, jewellery and fabric.

AT A GLANCE

Stump the Hump February 1-2 Entry costs $130 humpridgetrack.co.nz Tuatapere Fun Day February 2 Brochures for the Tuatapere Fun Day and the Waiau Art Trail are available from the Hump Ridge Track office or at humpridgetrack.co.nz

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- The Southland Times

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