Motu Challenge preparing for milestone 25th

Coast Duathlon will turn 30

Coast Duathlon will turn 30

The Motu Multisport Challenge and associated Riverlock Motu 160 bike race will hit a milestone in October, and to celebrate will have a big boost in prize money for the 25th-anniversary event.

The Opotiki-based race is one of New Zealand’s favourite and most challenging events on the multisport calendar and many Gisborne athletes have competed in it.

A total cash prize pool of $20,000 has been announced by the organising team, doubling the existing category prizes.

Event manager Jarrod Teddy is pleased to finally see the younger 160-kilometre cycle event match the prize rewards of the 172km multisport race.

“It’s our 25th birthday. We are really happy to be giving away all this money.

“First-placed individuals in both events will take home $2000 cash. For the first time we will be paying out to fifth place.”

The Motu Challenge on October 13 starts and finishes in Opotiki, with 172km of cycling, running and kayaking through some of this region’s most picturesque scenery — Motu Road, Whinray Scenic Reserve, Motu Village and the Waioeka Gorge.

The Motu 160 is a two-stage mountain bike and road cycle race of 160km, also starting and finishing in Opotiki and sharing the first 65km mountain bike leg through the Motu coach road to Motu village.

At Motu, it breaks off and heads direct for Opotiki, 90km by way of the gorge, while the multisport race continues inland with a 17km run through Whinray Reserve, then a 52km road cycle to the kayak transition in the gorge, and a 38km kayak/cycle/run fourth leg to the finish back in Opotiki.

In recent years organisers have added two optional duathlons of differing lengths involving the cycle and run legs.

The multisport challenge continues to attract some of New Zealand’s top athletes.

It was the event that started Whakatane’s Sam Clark’s love for the sport. The three-time and reigning Kathmandu Coast to Coast champion will be this year’s favourite to win again.

Previous winners of the Motu 160 include Gisborne’s Stephen Sheldrake (2013, 2014, 2015), and Peter Murphy (2012). Other Gisborne cyclists have had category wins in the two-stage cycle race since it was introduced as an optional event within the challenge.

In fact, Gisborne riders have been the strongest supporters of the demanding 160km bike race since it was introduced.

Many Gisborne individuals and teams have figured on the podium of the main event over a quarter-century of racing through one of the most challenging and scenic routes in New Zealand multisport.

■ While the Motu Challenge celebrates its 25th year, three weeks later the Coast Duathlon will notch up its own milestone — 30 years since the iconic 100km run/cycle road race first made the journey from Gisborne to Te Puia in 1989.

Organisers hope to see plenty of faces from the past at the Gladstone Road start line on November 3 to celebrate three decades of this event.

■ There are also plans to revive the Waimata Traverse multisport race next month but course and date details have not yet been settled.

The Motu Multisport Challenge and associated Riverlock Motu 160 bike race will hit a milestone in October, and to celebrate will have a big boost in prize money for the 25th-anniversary event.

The Opotiki-based race is one of New Zealand’s favourite and most challenging events on the multisport calendar and many Gisborne athletes have competed in it.

A total cash prize pool of $20,000 has been announced by the organising team, doubling the existing category prizes.

Event manager Jarrod Teddy is pleased to finally see the younger 160-kilometre cycle event match the prize rewards of the 172km multisport race.

“It’s our 25th birthday. We are really happy to be giving away all this money.

“First-placed individuals in both events will take home $2000 cash. For the first time we will be paying out to fifth place.”

The Motu Challenge on October 13 starts and finishes in Opotiki, with 172km of cycling, running and kayaking through some of this region’s most picturesque scenery — Motu Road, Whinray Scenic Reserve, Motu Village and the Waioeka Gorge.

The Motu 160 is a two-stage mountain bike and road cycle race of 160km, also starting and finishing in Opotiki and sharing the first 65km mountain bike leg through the Motu coach road to Motu village.

At Motu, it breaks off and heads direct for Opotiki, 90km by way of the gorge, while the multisport race continues inland with a 17km run through Whinray Reserve, then a 52km road cycle to the kayak transition in the gorge, and a 38km kayak/cycle/run fourth leg to the finish back in Opotiki.

In recent years organisers have added two optional duathlons of differing lengths involving the cycle and run legs.

The multisport challenge continues to attract some of New Zealand’s top athletes.

It was the event that started Whakatane’s Sam Clark’s love for the sport. The three-time and reigning Kathmandu Coast to Coast champion will be this year’s favourite to win again.

Previous winners of the Motu 160 include Gisborne’s Stephen Sheldrake (2013, 2014, 2015), and Peter Murphy (2012). Other Gisborne cyclists have had category wins in the two-stage cycle race since it was introduced as an optional event within the challenge.

In fact, Gisborne riders have been the strongest supporters of the demanding 160km bike race since it was introduced.

Many Gisborne individuals and teams have figured on the podium of the main event over a quarter-century of racing through one of the most challenging and scenic routes in New Zealand multisport.

■ While the Motu Challenge celebrates its 25th year, three weeks later the Coast Duathlon will notch up its own milestone — 30 years since the iconic 100km run/cycle road race first made the journey from Gisborne to Te Puia in 1989.

Organisers hope to see plenty of faces from the past at the Gladstone Road start line on November 3 to celebrate three decades of this event.

■ There are also plans to revive the Waimata Traverse multisport race next month but course and date details have not yet been settled.

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