Former All Black Carlos Spencer to take on Whaka100 MTB Marathon



Former All Black Carlos Spencer will be racing in the Whaka100 MTB Marathon presented by CamelBak on October 21st in the Whakarewarewa Forest, Rotorua.


The Rugby star has returned to New Zealand after living in South Africa and Japan in recent years. He is due to start a new job in December as assistant coach of the Hurricanes.

Carlos Spencer happy to have made it to the finish line at Cape Epic. Photo: Supplied

Although he has never been committed to mountain biking, he has committed to taking on the Whaka100.


“I raced in Cape Epic, but I didn’t do the training that I needed. I was living in Japan at the time and only had four to five weeks to prepare for it.”


Spencer has only been on the Whakarewarewa mountain bike trails once, but looks forward to riding them again and having a bit of fun in the Whaka100. He is not setting goals or times, and will ride with his brother Fabian who raced in last years event.


“We just want to push each other along, and get a time we’re both happy with. I’ve only been in the forest once and it was just a play around.”


His wife, Jo will be taking on the 50km. She has also only been in the forest once.


This years Whaka100 MTB Marathon presented by Camelbak is shaping up to be one of the best events in the 12 year history of one of NZ's toughest single day mountain bike events.


The 100km, 50km and 25km courses take in the world class mountain bike trails of Rotorua and the event runs from 20 - 21 October.


There has been a 21 percent growth this year, with a 7 percent increase in female riders. The increased growth of the event is not related to locals, but domestic entries with a large percentage travelling from the South Island and 96 percent of people traveling from outside of Rotorua.


Event director, Tim Farmer said the domestic growth is a great boost to the local economy.


“Many of the domestic riders spend time in Rotorua, familiarising themselves with the trails and enjoying the activities that Rotorua has to offer.”




Carlos Spencer

Carlos Spencer (born 14 October 1975) is a former New Zealand rugby player. During his playing days, he played at fly-half (first five-eighth) for the Blues and Lions in Super Rugby and for New Zealand internationally. Spencer first played for the All Blacks in a non-test tour match on 4 November 1995, but did not play his first test match until 1997. His test debut was against Argentina at Athletic Park in Wellington on 28 June that year. He scored 33 points in that match alone. His All Black appearances as a starter were somewhat irregular thereafter, as Andrew Mehrtens was generally preferred as the first-choice flyhalf for the side during the period from 1995–2002. He was selected for the 1999 All Blacks World Cup squad but became injured in training at London, so did not play a match in that tournament.However, following an exceptional season for the Blues in Super 12, Spencer became first-choice first five-eighth for the All Blacks in 2003, and was a part of the squad for the Rugby World Cup that year. He then coached in South Africa and Japan, before returning to New Zealand to be assistant coach of the Hurricanes.




The Whaka 100 is an iconic mountain-bike event deep in Rotorua’s famous Whakarewarewa Forest taking advantage of 160km of single track trail perfection - nowhere else in Australasia has an event like it. Featuring cross-country riding at its finest, this event gives competitors a chance to show off skill and endurance with a reputation as one of the toughest mountain bike marathons in the Southern Hemisphere. This 12th edition of the Whaka100 has a cash prize pool of over $5,100 along with $20,000 in giveaways, 237 sought-after podium medals and 1,000 finishers medals. A packed schedule of events serves up something for everyone with the Rotorua Isuzu Shootout Time Trial, 5.5km kids ride, 25km, 50km, 100km (relay, pairs, individual), King of the Mountain, plus live music, an expo and demo rides. Make the most of Labour Weekend with the Whaka 100 in Rotorua. Take in the sights, the sounds, the tracks and the tribe of mountain bikers and supporters that will descend on the city.  Free training programme available for download here.