Hunt on for extra relay teams

The 26th Round the Gorges relay is set to be run on August 25 and the organisers are looking for more teams.

They are hoping to attract social, business and school teams for the first time.

This is one of the South Island's premier relays and is usually contested as part of the Canterbury cross-country committee's winter calendar.

It has proved very popular in the past with 16 teams from North Canterbury to Dunedin entering last year. This year the organisers are trialling a five-lap course over 41.7km in the hope of attracting increased numbers.

The shortest lap is 7.6km, from Taiko Rd to Claremont Hall, while the longest lap is 9.3km from Claremont Hall to Aorangi Park's all-weather track.

Spokesperson Helen Mackle said previously it was an eight-lap relay, but had been reduced to encourage more teams to participate.

"We would like to see a number of unregistered runner teams competing so businesses, organisations and schools can get a five-person team together and enjoy some exercise."

Mackle said teams are handicapped according to their ability, based on an estimated 10km time.

"The emphasis of this relay is to get people involved in fitness and being part of a team [and] to boost the number of teams competing."

The relay starts and finishes on the all-weather track at Aorangi Park, goes down Mountain View Rd, Wai-iti Rd, Barton Rd, Fairview Rd, Holme Station Corner, up Pareora River Rd, turns on to Pareora Ford Rd, then Taiko Rd at the Taiko corner, up the zigzag, down Claremont Rd, Pages Rd and back to finish on the track.

Cost: $100 per team (plus $10 a senior and $5 junior for unregistered runners)

Entries close August 15.

For further information, map and entry forms go to

The Timaru Herald