The Northern Crossing coast-to-coast multisport challenge, a Rotary Club of Kerikeri fundraising event for the past four years, has been run for the final time. A plethora of competing events and a static number of entries have combined to kill off what the club had hoped would become a hardy annual.
Club President Martin Macpherson said the cost and the sheer scale of the time and effort involved in putting on the Northern Crossing each year had required entry numbers to continue growing in order to make the event financially worthwhile. But growth had not occurred.
“As a service organisation we just weren’t able to underwrite the event with the kind of marketing budget that is needed to achieve cut-through in the current environment,” he said. “We were dependent on the Auckland market for growth and on any given weekend there are several such events in and around the city for people to get involved in. They don’t need to come all the way up to the Bay of Islands to participate in a decent sporting challenge, unfortunately.”
In recent years the club had tried to vary the event to broaden its appeal. In 2013 it introduced the Missionary Trail short course and this year it added an eight kilometre walk/run event and a paddle-board course. While demand for the short courses grew the number of entries for the original coast-to-coast course fell.
Macpherson thanked those for whom the event had become a regular challenge and said their support had kept the Northern Crossing going for the past four years. He also thanked the event’s principal sponsors over the period, Top Energy and Craigs Investment Partners, as well as the many other organisations who had contributed both materially and financially.