Endurance racers set to do it again

MURRAY HILLS
Last updated 05:00 12/02/2013
Hamish Fleming

ROCKY RUN: Hamish Fleming, from New Plymouth, on the mountain run in Saturday's Coast to Coast endurance race in the South Island.

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New Plymouth's Hamish Fleming has just finished one endurance race and he's already lining up a second.

The 22-year-old finished 33rd in the Coast to Coast's "longest day" individual race. Fleming's time for the 243km race from Kumara Beach on the West Coast to Sumner Beach near Christchurch was 13 hours, 45 minutes, 20 seconds.

"I'm a bit gutted. I had higher hopes. I went into the race aiming at top 10," Fleming said yesterday.

"I went flat out on the first bike ride and it took a lot of energy out of the legs. I started cramping up and struggled on the mountain run. I was feeling good mentally and quite excited about the race, but my legs didn't handle it."

Still, Fleming was happy with his time, which was just over half an hour slower than he took when competing in the two-day individual race in 2011.

"For my first attempt at the longest day, I'm pretty pleased. There's plenty of room for improvement next time."

The immediate focus is the Godzone adventure race in Queenstown next month.

"It's a five-day adventure race, the same disciplines basically. Kayaking, trekking, mountain biking and navigational skills. It's teams of four and I'm racing with some friends from uni days in Dunedin."

Inglewood's Kevin Coombes, competing in the one-day individual race, finished in 15hr 30min 32sec. He was fifth in his age-group - 50-59 - and 75th overall.

"Overall, I'm happy with the results. I did OK, but I've had a sore knee for a while and couldn't push on the run," he said.

"I had a couple of mishaps.

"On the kayak leg, a guy in front of me fell out and I crashed into his kayak and had a swim. I broke the nose on my kayak and had to tape it up.

"But it could have been worse, it all worked out well.

"I'll have to go back and do a perfect race one day," Coombes said.

Former world champion motocross rider Shayne King described the race as the toughest thing both mentally and physically that he has ever done.

"I survived, just.

"It's incredibly demanding. The mountain run was so tough," he said.

"But I'll definitely be back next year."

King competed in the two-day teams event with former national enduro champion Mark White, from Paeroa. They finished in 17hr 6min 32sec in the 40-49 years age group.

Another in the two-day teams event was Oakura's Keith Brodie competing in the open men's section. "I'm alive," probably best summed up how most competitors felt after finishing.

Competing in a team called "Nasty Piece of Knitting", Brodie's time for the race was 15hr 25min 47sec for 46th overall and 17th in the open men's section.

New Plymouth's Scott Anderson and his son Jack competed in the two-day, family teams section. They finished ninth in 16hr 18min 27sec and 59th overall in the teams.

New Plymouth's Quentin Maclean finished 20th overall in the two-day race in 14hr 14min 28sec and 15th in the open men's division. Oakura's Craig Cook and New Plymouth's Paul Carleton were others in the two-day individual race.

Cook finished 115th overall in 17hr 4min 33sec and 29th in the men's 40-49 years division. Carleton finished 197th overall and 20th in the men's 50-59 years race in 21hr 21min 34sec.

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Nicola Blue, who now lives in Christchurch but is from Stratford, competed in the run only and the cycle only events. She finished the run in 7hr 55min 27sec and the bike ride in 2hr 48min 19sec.

- © Fairfax NZ News

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