Coast to Coast - Competitors find inventive ways to train during lockdown




Race Director Glen Currie expects competitors times to be better than ever, with many of the athletes signed up to the 39th Kathmandu Coast to Coast using the time at home during the Covid19 Lockdown to their advantage.

Whilst late autumn and winter are often times that athletes hibernate a little, Currie says he’s seen plenty of evidence online of ingenuity taking place to design indoor trainers, training close to people’s homes and lots of race and nutrition planning.  


“The lockdown was a time of uncertainty for many of us, our team and event included, but having something like the Kathmandu Coast to Coast to focus on has clearly been a welcome distraction for many of the competitors,” said Currie.


Matt Calman, who was the final competitor to cross the finish line in 17 hours in 2020, designed his own wind trainer out of odds and ends he had laying around his garage and an old set of training wheels. “It wasn’t the smoothest ride, but it was quite fun,” said Calman. “I got quite a lot of use out of a 100 kg squat bar that I made out of a length of wood and two supermarket bags filled with sand from my kid’s sandpit though.”


Despite the bitter cold spell in Canterbury and other parts of the South Island, Kayak training companies have been in full swing conducting grade two certificate courses, a pre-requisite for competitors.


“We had to cancel about 4 of the four-day grade 2 learner courses and a bunch of skills days,” said Kayak Instructor and long-time competitor Sam Manson. “Fortunately, we have been able to reschedule 95% them, but that now means we have a huge load of work on, on top of the normal scheduled trips and courses in the spring. We have had to source more qualified instructors to assist the increase in courses in spring that were transferred from the Covid-19 Level 4 lockdown.”


With the 2021 event selling out in record time, Currie said they had not seen too much disruption to the competitor list. “Depending on how and when the borders open there might be some international competitors withdraw, but we’ve kept our communication pretty open with those that have entered from outside of New Zealand and will continue to support them in any way we can, whether it be for this coming event or the next.”


Currie also added a great deal of thanks to title sponsor Kathmandu, who despite their own tough times have continued to offer their support to the event. ‘Kathmandu have been great, we’ve been working really hard behind the scenes to come up with a series of ‘what ifs’ in regard to social distancing and other things that might eventuate and to know we have their support is a very pleasing position to be in. we couldn’t run the Kathmandu Coast to Coast without that kind of support.”