Coast to Coast (race)

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At the finish line of the 2017 Coast to Coast

The Coast to Coast is a non-standard multisport competition held annually in New Zealand. It is run from the west coast to the east coast of the South Island, and features running, cycling and kayaking elements over a total of 243 kilometres (151 mi). It starts in Kumara Beach and traditionally finished in the Christchurch suburb of Sumner, but since 2015 finishes in New Brighton. The event was created in 1983 by Christchurch personality Robin Judkins, who sold the rights to Queenstown-based tourism company Trojan Holdings in 2013. Richard Ussher took over from Judkins as race director in 2015.


Robin Judkins in 2016

The first Coast to Coast race was organised in 1983 by New Zealand sportsman Robin Judkins who had earlier run the three-day Alpine Ironman. The original race featured only 79 competitors and was considered a largely local event. Subsequent races have increased in size, and by the race's 25th anniversary run in 2007 the field had increased to 840 participants and gained international acclaim as one of the premier adventure races in the world.[1]

Richard Ussher, who had won the event five times, questioned prior to the 2013 event whether it was time for Judkins to step aside.[2] After organising the race for 31 years, Judkins sold the rights in May 2013 to tourism company Trojan Holdings[3][4] for an undisclosed amount. [2] Judkins was the race director once more in 2014, but just days before that year's event, Trojan Holdings announced that they had appointed Richard Ussher as the race director, to take over from Judkins after February 2014.[5]

Dunedin brewery Speight's had the naming rights for 32 years but cancelled its sponsorship in May 2015, with Moa Brewing Company as the event's new beer sponsor.[6] There was no naming right sponsor for the 2016 race, but in April 2016, it was announced that Kathmandu was the new naming right sponsor from 2017 to 2019.[7]


The race consists of three different timed events which all run over the same course: individual and two-person teams competing over a two-day event, and the titular World Championship race, a one-person, one-day event previously called The Longest Day competition.

The race begins with a 3 kilometres (1.9 mi) run from Kumara Beach on the Tasman Sea, followed by a 55 km (34 mi) cycling up State Highway 73 to Aickens. The next segment of the race is a 33 kilometres (21 mi) run up the Deception River, through Goat Pass and then down the Mingha River to the Bealey River and SH 73 at Klondyke Corner. For the two-day event, competitors overnight here.

From Klondyke Corner, a 15 kilometres (9.3 mi) cycling leg along SH 73 brings competitors to the Waimakariri River at Mount White Bridge. From here, competitors kayak 67 kilometres (42 mi) down the river to the Waimakariri Gorge Bridge (Route 72).

Until 2014, the final segment was a 70 kilometres (43 mi) cycling race along Old West Coast Road and through Christchurch (via SH 73, SH 76, SH 74A, Ferry Road and Main Road) to the finish at Sumner Beach, on the Pacific Ocean.

From 2015, the route was shifted north of the Waimakariri River to follow South Eyre Road, then travelling through north-eastern Christchurch to finish at New Brighton beach, a total distance just 500 metres shorter than the original. The main reason for the change was to avoid competitors contending with numerous traffic lights through Christchurch's inner suburbs.


The record time of completion of the race is in 10 hours, 34 minutes and 37 seconds, achieved by Keith Murray in 1994. Murray also holds the record for the two-day competition at 11:05:18 from the year before in 1993.[8]

Event Time Participant Year
Men's Individual (One day) 10:34:37 Keith Murray 1994
Women's Individual (One day) 12:09:26 Andrea Murray 1997
Men's Individual (Two day) 11:05:18 Keith Murray 1993
Women's Individual (Two day) 12:59:57 Anne Woodley 1997
Men's Teams 10:50:56 Michael Causer
Graham Causer
Women's Teams 12:37:53 Suzanne Stowell
Andrea Devine

Steve Gurney, a local from Christchurch, has won the event a record 9 times, in 1990, 1991, and 1997–2003.[9]

Individual (one day) results[edit]

Year Men Women
Competitor Residence Time Competitor Residence Time
1987 Russell Prince Christchurch 12:19:51 Stella Sweney Nelson 16:07:10
1988 John Jacoby Melbourne, Australia 12:02:59 Denise Higgison Tauranga 17:22:08
1989 John Jacoby Melbourne, Australia 11:27:19 Stella Sweney Nelson 13:11:10
1990 Steve Gurney Christchurch 11:06:49 Anna Keeling Christchurch 13:39:01
1991 Steve Gurney Christchurch 10:56:14 Kathy Lynch Motueka 12:46:04
1992 Rockley Montgomery South Africa 08:37:30 Kathy Lynch Motueka 09:29:36
1993 John Jacoby Melbourne, Australia 11:06:02 Kathy Lynch Motueka 12:41:52
1994 Keith Murray Christchurch 10:34:37 Kathy Lynch Motueka 12:38:31
1995 Ian Edmond Christchurch 11:44:22 Wendy Nelson Geraldine 13:17:14
1996 Neil Jones Whakatane 11:49:39 Kathy Lynch Motueka 13:16:58
1997 Steve Gurney Christchurch 10:55:16 Andrea Murray Christchurch 12:09:26
1998 Steve Gurney Christchurch 11:30:09 Alexandra Stewart Wellington 13:50:34
1999 Steve Gurney Christchurch 11:34:21 Kate Callaghan Auckland 13:17:58
2000 Steve Gurney Christchurch 11:47:32 Jill Westenra Wellington 13:16:25
2001 Steve Gurney Christchurch 11:04:58 Jill Westenra Wellington 12:46:35
2002 Steve Gurney Christchurch 11:53:08 Jill Westenra Wellington 13:25:34
2003 Steve Gurney Christchurch 11:14:08 Jill Westenra Wellington 12:25:54
2004 George Christison Napier 11:33:30 Kristina Strode-Penny Christchurch 13:08:43
2005 Richard Ussher Nelson 11:44:07 Kristina Anglem Christchurch 12:40:34
2006 Richard Ussher Nelson 11:05:06 Emily Miazga Canada 13:00:15
2007 Gordon Walker Auckland 11:39:30 Fleur Pawsey Wellington 13:29:47
2008 Richard Ussher Nelson 11:03:52 Emily Miazga Canada 13:16:24
2009 Gordon Walker Auckland 11:49:26 Emily Miazga Canada 13:39:33
2010 Gordon Walker Auckland 09:43:24 Elina Ussher Finland 10:59:54
2011 Richard Ussher Nelson 10:41:12 Sophie Hart Nelson 12:10:31
2012 Richard Ussher Nelson 11:33:24 Elina Ussher Finland 13:25:24
2013 Braden Currie Methven 11:06:51 Sophie Hart Nelson 12:36:19
2014[10] Braden Currie Wanaka 11:18:37 Jess Simson Wellington 13:12:24
2014[11] Braden Currie Wanaka 11:20:46 Jess Simson Wellington 13:05:10
2015 Braden Currie Wanaka 11:27:46 Jess Simson Wanaka 13:05:44
2016 Sam Clark Whakatane 11:37:07 Elina Ussher Finland 13:32:41
2017[12] Sam Clark Whakatane 11:02:43 Elina Ussher 13:11:39


  1. ^ Woodcock, Fred (9 February 2007). "Coast-to-Coast a life-changing event". The Dominion Post. [dead link]
  2. ^ a b Richens, Matt (10 May 2013). "Judkins was happy to sell Coast-to-Coast". The Press. Retrieved 11 February 2017. 
  3. ^ Longley, Geoff (10 May 2013). "Judkins sells Coast to Coast". The Press. Retrieved 16 September 2013. 
  4. ^ Hutching, Chris (13 May 2013). "Rich List 'coasters' keep Judkins as 'beer boy'". National Business Review. Retrieved 16 September 2013. 
  5. ^ Egan, Brendon (17 February 2014). "Richard Ussher new Coast to Coast director". The Press. Retrieved 10 February 2017. 
  6. ^ Anthony, John (28 December 2015). "Moa ousts Speight's as sponsor of Coast to Coast race". The Press. p. A14. Retrieved 6 February 2017. 
  7. ^ Smith, Tony (13 April 2016). "Coast to Coast race gets major new backer after apparel company signs a three-year naming rights deal". The Press. Retrieved 14 February 2017. 
  8. ^ "Coast to Coast:Individual Race Records". Speight's Coast to Coast. Retrieved 16 September 2013. 
  9. ^ Guerney, Steve. "Steve Gurney". Retrieved 16 September 2013. 
  10. ^ Egan, Brendon (16 February 2014). "Braden Currie shines in Coast to Coast win". The Press. Retrieved 4 November 2015. 
  11. ^ Davis, Hanne (15 February 2015). "Braden Currie wins third straight Coast to Coast race after rival's bike breaks down". The Press. Retrieved 4 November 2015. 
  12. ^ van Royen, Robert (11 February 2017). "Sam Clark and Elina Ussher defend Coast to Coast titles after stunning final legs". Retrieved 11 February 2017. 

External links[edit]