Friday, January 08, 2010

New Zealand: Everything on track for championships

Stuff.co.nz - Full Article

By DAVID DAWKINS - The Marlborough Express - 08/01/2010

Linda Harmon will have no excuses for getting lost at this weekend's South Island Endurance and Competitive Trail Riding Championships in the Chestnut Valley.

It's not just because she is an experienced rider, or that the champs are in her home province, but because she has spent the past week marking out the tracks.

The South Island champs will see riders tackle courses ranging from 160 kilometres in the top endurance event to 32km trail rides.

For Harmon, the task has been finding tracks, which consist of large loops ranging from 20km to 40km, then marking them with whatever she can get her hands on – including a host of old roadside markers sourced from Works Infrastructure.

The reflective surfaces on the road markers will be particularly welcome to riders in the 160km event, which starts at 1am tomorrow. The first two loops will be completed in the dark with the aid of headlamps and glow markers.

The courses will take riders through the hills of the Chestnut Valley, in the Wairau Valley, weaving in and out of forestry along the way.

Harmon said riders could expect some challenges.

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