Weather ‘brutal’ for Coast to Coast

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Social support . . . New World employees Kurtis Barlow (left) and Jodie McDonald flank Balclutha New World operator Jason Dobson (centre) with surprise shirts created in support of his Coast To Coast journey. PHOTO: SUPPLIED

EVELYN.THORN@nullcluthaleader.co.nz

Balclutha newcomer Jason Dobson has been welcomed into the community with open arms, and had plenty of local support along with his family on his journey to competing in his fourth Coast to Coast event at the weekend.

Leading up to the event, Dobson said he was ‘‘very excited to compete’’ following support from his fellow team members at New World, his family, his coach and mentor Dougal Allan, and his brother Matthew, who is also a triathlete.

Dobson, who placed seventh in the men’s open category and 23rd overall, competed alongside 284 other competitors in the one›day event, the highest number in Dobson’s four years of competing, he said.

He completed the sections of running, cycling and kayaking unsupported throughout the entirety of the event, but said he ‘‘thoroughly enjoyed’’ the challenge and was happy with his results.

Dobson completed the challenge in 11hrs 50min , remaining in the top 10 competitors for the majority of the race.

He described weather conditions as ‘‘brutal’’, with rough heavy rain as one of his toughest competitors.

The event begins in the town of Kumara on the West Coast and finishes on New Brighton Beach, Christchurch , comprising a 243km odyssey.

Dobson said one of his fiercest competitors was his coach, Dougal Allan, who pipped him to the post in 2020 for a friendly one›two on the podium in the two›day Coast to Coast event, cancelled this year due to Red traffic light settings.

‘‘He has been a great coach and mentor. He always has plenty of time for others and is a great leader outside of sport,’’ Dobson said.

Dobson said the tireless support the Clutha community had shown him had pushed him to train even harder. He enjoyed training using local resources like the Clutha River, for kayaking.

He encouraged the community to see how hard they could push themselves with any kind of sport and fitness.

‘‘I’m passionate about the mental challenge that comes with endurance sports, and if anyone wants guidance in how to go about sports and fitness, come and have a chat.’’