Race location secret

LEIGHTON KEITH
Last updated 05:00 29/01/2014
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ANDY JACKSON

Matt Lash is organising the Taranaki Six Hour Adventure Race

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Taranaki is set to hold its own adventure race but the event's location is being kept top secret until the last minute.

Matt Lash has spent about a year planning and preparing for the Taranaki Six Hour Adventure Race which will be held near New Plymouth on March 1.

The race is open to teams of two or four people and will involve trekking, mountain biking and paddling.

Mr Lash said he felt there was a need for the region to have its own adventure race.

"They are held all over the North Island but nothing in Taranaki and we have got a lot of keen and adventurous people in Taranaki," the head of physical education at Opunake High School said. "I thought it was about time they had an event that they could do locally."

However he didn't want competitors knowing too much about the course before and the venue would be announced the night before the race.

"You get some ultra competitive people out there who just love going and snooping around."

Taranaki high schools have dominated the Hillary Challenge held annually at Tongariro's Outdoor Pursuits Centre, winning nine out of 11 titles, with New Plymouth Boys' and Girls' High combined team claiming eight and Opunake one.

Mr Lash, 39, said although basic level fitness would be an advantage for anyone considering entering the race, it was an entry level event.

"It's not for super hard core athletes. It's six hours long, they will be put through four to five different stages which will involve mountain biking, trekking, paddling and other mystery activities.

"They have to build a big score by navigating their way to check points."

He said the faster and more skilled a team was, the more points they would accumulate but there was still room for strategy, tactics, planning and old school cunning to maximise their score.

The biggest challenge for competitors would be the mental one, he said. "Pushing through the pain barrier when you get tired."

Mr Lash said the event had been well supported by local businesses and there had been good interest early from entrants.

Race information and entry details can be found at www.taranaki6hour.co.nz

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- © Fairfax NZ News

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