Goldrush multisport race reduced to two days

DEBBIE JAMIESON
Last updated 05:00 27/03/2014

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The revamped multisport race the Goldrush will this weekend see competitors take on a reduced course based in Alexandra where they will be able to have a hot shower at the end of racing, organiser Tim Pearson said.

For the past 17 years the event had taken place over three days with nights spent at the Upper Manorburn and Tarras. This year it would be a two-day race with Alexandra as a base.

A previous winner of the Goldrush, Pearson said the changes were made as people were busier these days and it was difficult to take time off work.

Other changes included the introduction of a swimming leg, as an option instead of kayaking, removing road cycling and replacing it with mountain biking, and two new runs.

While registrations for this weekend's event were down from last year's 175 competitors to 111, he felt it would probably take a year or two to rebuild the event given the changes.

"The sport is in a funny place at the moment. Triathlon is all the trend but everything goes in cycles and I think multisport will come back."

Some big names were signed up, including previous winner Dougal Allan, of Wanaka, top multisporter Richard Ussher and his wife, Elena, and Sia Svendsen, of Christchurch.

Last year's winner Scott Cole was unable to compete after suffering illness since the Coast to Coast but would attend as a media liaison as the Swedish national had already booked in the event before his return to the United States.

Defending female champion Simone Maier was unable to attend due to racing commitments in China, along with several other Wanaka-based athletes.

Nine teams were expected from Southland Girls' High School, which used the event as part of their outdoor education programme.

Pearson won the Goldrush twice previously, and was second twice, while wife Sally (nee Fahey) won the event four times. The couple moved from Alexandra to Christchurch with their six-year-old son about 18 months ago.

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- The Southland Times

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