Two new events and a short course extend the challenge.
The 2014 Craigs Northern Crossing multisport challenge will be held on Saturday 5 April, with several new events and courses to open up the day for the not-so-fit and the not-so-young. Registration is now open at www.northerncrossing.co.nz and organisers are offering free registration to anyone who can tempt two teams or individuals to take part for the first time.
Rotarian Owen Smith, who leads the Rotary Club of Kerikeri organising team, said the event had started off as a coast-to-coast haul for serious athletes but had evolved to cater for the wider community.
Last year it included for the first time a short course for people looking for a middle-distance sporting challenge. Called the Missionary Trail, and incorporating a 13 kilometre mountain bike leg along the Pou Herenga Tai cycleway, this proved popular and features again on the 2014 programme.
Two new courses have been added for next year. They have been called the Settler’s Run/Walk and the Waka Welcome, maintaining the heritage theme of the day.
The Settler’s Run/Walk follows the eight kilometre Kerikeri River trail from Waipapa to the Stone Store basin at Kerikeri, past Rainbow Falls.
The Waka Welcome accommodates the growing demand for competitive paddleboard events and is “a natural addition to the events of the day,” according to the organisers. The six kilometre course on Kerikeri Inlet offers “a sheltered yet challenging route along the waterways navigated by Ngapuhi waka in days of old.”
“People can take these two new events as seriously or as light-heartedly as they like,” Smith said. “They’re both totally do-able and designed to give everyone a taste of achievement and an opportunity to be part of the day of fun and challenge.”
Both the Northern Crossing and the Missionary Trail offer multisport and duathlon options featuring individual and team races.
The full coast-to-coast course follows ancestral pathways from Kupe’s first landing place almost 800 years ago at the mouth of the Hokianga Harbour, across the island to Kerikeri, site of this country’s first permanent trading post built by English missionaries almost 200 years ago.
The event is the fund-raising brainchild of the Rotary Club of Kerikeri. Craigs Investment Partners will be the primary sponsor for the first time in 2014. Proceeds help support community youth projects and other Rotary projects right across the Mid and Far North.