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Abel Tasman Coastal Classic Preview

The Abel Tasman Coastal Classic is coming up this weekend, but with a trip to Adelaide among other things going on there was no way I was going to be able to get a race preview out for what has to be one of NZ premier trail races- lucky the good folks at Nelson Events fired through the below race preview for us!

“If anyone ever asks what one event to put on the list for the run of a lifetime” is the Abel Tasman Coastal Classic’s “catchcry” and Saturday’s 19th edition 300 strong sell out certainly reinforces there must be a reason why it is on many athletes “bucket list”.

36kms from Awaroa back to Marahau along New Zealand’s most popular coast track is premier paradise running territory with the course being the equivalent of a marathon….Phil Costley multiple NZ champion holding the 2 hour 22 minute record.
Carline Thomas was the “wome quick” recording her 2.52.05 time in 2005 but that might be erased on Saturday by Michelle McAdam who crosses the Tasman with pedigree ( 2.44 Gold Coast Marathon). If on song she could also come home in the top ten but ahead of her it’s anyones race to win.
Nelson’s Graeme Taylor has targeted the event as one of his 2012 hit outs and will be hard to stop being first back. Canterbury has Vajin Armstrong and Matthew Pepler in solid form while North Islanders Mark Beesley (Rotorua) Richard Arnott ( Auckland) and Andy Good ( Palmerston North) are all sub 1.20 minute half marathoners but this is only good enough to get them to Torrent Bay wher the “real race” begins.
Beesley in the 50-59 age group category will no doubt be eyeing up Gary Dick’s long standing record.
19 years on and the “surviving trio” from 1994, Chris Gates, Colin Rolfe and Owen Rowse will be all keen to finish and then make it number 20 next year when all return to Totaranui for the original Classic.
Full details on nelsonevents.co.nz

And keep an eye out early next week for Vajin Armstrong’s Abel Tasman Coastal Classic race report that he promised!


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A Backcountry Running Community for New Zealand trail, mountain and ultra runners- We want this to be the place you come for all things trail running including race previews and reports, interviews with New Zealand runners and hopefully a whole lot more! Our aim is to provide as much original content- previews/reports/interviews on New Zealand trail, mountain and ultra races. We can't be everywhere- so feel free to get in touch if you have the scoop on a race or event.

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