360 teams to contest Spring Challenge

By Janna Sherman
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About 100 local women will be among the 1100-strong field when the Spring Challenge adventure race heads off from Hokitika next month.
That is the largest field yet in the eight-year history of the event.
Spring Challenge organiser Nathan Faavae said yesterday some teams had dropped out recently, but they had been filled from the waiting list, which still had about 10 teams of three on standby for a spot in the six-hour and nine-hour courses.
Some places were still available on the shortest three-hour 40km route, combining rafting, mountainbiking, hiking and navigation.
Spring Challenge, an all-women’s event, will be capped at 360 teams.
Mr Faavae said team numbers were usually capped at 330, but the Hokitika course reached that limit early on.
“Because of the demand we have extended the field a bit but we are close to the maximum we can cater for. All up, with supporters and crew, it is about 3000 people to manage, which starts to put a bit of pressure on our logistics.”
Planning for the event was now complete. However, last-minute adjustments could be made to the course, depending on the weather forecast for the weekend.
The course is kept tightly under wraps until the night before the race day. However, it will involve a stretch of river for the rafting component, and a section of the West Coast Wilderness trail is also expected to be used. Spring Challenge is set down for the weekend of September 26-28.