2021 Coast to Coast a ‘mental’ challenge

SHARE
In it together . . . Balclutha adventure racers Paul Skipper (left) and Craig Gordon continue their training on the Clutha River for the next weekend’s 2021 Kathmandu Coast to Coast. PHOTO: JOHN COSGROVE
JOHN.COSGROVE
@cluthaleader.co.nz


Balclutha adventure racers Craig Gordon and Paul Skipper both agree the 2021 Kathmandu Coast to Coast will be a mental race.
“The biggest hurdle you face on the Coast to Coast race is it’s many mental challenges. I know how tough it is racing for the two days but the goal is to finish and finish well,” Gordon said.
Craig Gordon, the Sport Clutha regional co-ordinator, and Paul Skipper, a Clutha based personal trainer, have both been training hard for the two-day long gruelling physical challenge.
Held from February 12 and 13, the race attracted 1000 racers to run, cycle and kayak the 243km from Kumara Beach, West Coast, to New Brighton, Christchurch.
“Like the many Ironmans I’ve done in the past, the Coast to Coast will be a mental battle. It’s been a dream of mine for many years and as my kids are old enough, I can now finally realise that dream,” Skipper said. 

In it together . . . Balclutha adventure racers Paul Skipper (left) and Craig Gordon continue their training on the Clutha River for the next weekend’s 2021 Kathmandu Coast to Coast. PHOTO: JOHN COSGROVE

He will be running against the clock on the first day trying to beat the cut-off time limit to get to the Klondyke corner camp site, he said.
“Then on the second day, the biggest worry will be the 67km long kayaking stage, but I’m working on it. “We will take what ever the race throws at us and we will finish the race.” For Gordon, this will be his seventh tilt at the Coast to Coast. “It’s been a while since I did my last two-day race race, back in 2015, when I did it as a tandem team.
‘‘Hopefully, this year as a solo competitor it won’t be as bad as one I did in 2006, when another competitor mistakenly grabbed my bike at the start, he eventually brought it back but it ruined my race.”
Gordon said he enjoyed the fun and the camaraderie of the race and meeting up with all the wonderful people he knows. Both racers have small support teams travelling with them and in Skipper’s case it is his children.
“They have grown up a bit now and it will be good to have them come along and help me out.”
Entries for this year’s race opened as soon as the 2020 Coast to Coast finished, and as usual, were sold out in just a few days.
To ease the workload on organisers, entries for the 40th anniversary 2022 race will now not open until March 8.