Three-person teams will compete in the Speight's Coast to Coast race from next year.
Race director Robin Judkins is also allowing people to participate in just the mountain run or the final cycle ride across the Canterbury Plains.
Established in 1983, the Coast to Coast is the world's longest-running multisport event.
Recognised as the world multisport championship, it starts on the West Coast's Kumara Beach and races 243 kilometres across the South Island to finish on Sumner Beach in Christchurch.
Almost 20,000 people from 46 countries have completed the six-stage event, comprising a 3km run, 55km road cycle, 33km mountain run, 15km road cycle, 67km kayak and 70km road cycle, either as individuals or two-person teams.
But the new changes have been in the back of Judkins' mind for a while.
"We want the Coast to Coast experience to be more accessible to more people. A newcomer might start out trying a bike ride, then come back and try the mountain run or kayak section.
"They can now get that introduction by themselves, or try it with a mate in the two or three-person team, and eventually complete the course as an individual.
"It's a progressive thing helping people get into multisport."
Judkins thinks it will reinvigorate the sport by opening it up to a wider range of age, ability and experience.
He has also announced a documentary cinema release of 2012's 30th-anniversary Coast to Coast.
Scheduled for September 23 in Auckland, the 2012 documentary follows last year's successful tour of 22 cinemas nationwide.
"I'm over the moon," said Judkins.
"The coverage is superb. As well as the first husband and wife triumph for Richard Ussher and Elina Ussher, it follows people like Neelu Memon becoming the first blind finisher . . . a Maori team following the footsteps of ancient ancestors, an ex-All Black taking on new challenges, and a husband and wife team doing it after his brain surgery."
- © Fairfax NZ News
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