Around Brunner organisers hoping to boost numbers

By Tui Bromley

The new organisers of the NBS Around Brunner Cycle Challenge hope that double last year’s field of 448 will face the starter outside the Monteith’s Brewery, in Greymouth on April 12.
The inaugural Around Brunner race attracted a field of 1200. Numbers stayed around 1000 for the following two events, but the Christchurch earthquakes and economic recession saw participation gradually drop off to the point that fewer than 500 started last year.
John Moore, of the event’s new owner, CJM Events Ltd, said the long-term goal was to get the numbers back up over 1000.
Entries at this stage suggest that at least 600 will race next month and the field could top 800.
The event will again have a long course (130km) and shorter, Around the Bridges (30km) races, both starting and finishing outside the brewery. The Greymouth aquatic centre has offered its facilities for cyclists who want to ease their tired muscles in the pool after the event.
The long course will take riders through Kumara to Jacksons, around the lake and back to Greymouth via Moana, Stillwater and Dobson.
The elite riders are expected to finish in about three hours.