Loaves and f ishes at Kumara

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A few of the 825 hungry athletes and their supporters tuck in for the ‘last supper’ at the Kumara Memorial Hall yesterday
before the Speight’s Coast to Coast headed off into the sunrise this morning. Kumara organisers consulted a dietitian on how to feed the high-performance athletes before coming up with the menu, which included a range of high-fibre and high-protein salads, a selection of meat, and a beef goulash made from a secret recipe which has never been released to the public. A number of local community groups volunteered their time to raise money for their respective groups — Paroa Playcentre mums were washing the dishes, Paroa School was on pots, Paroa Tennis served the tea and the Camerons Community Hall people dished up dessert. Organiser Gerald Bullimore said the dinner was occasionally a somewhat tense affair for those thinking about the race the next day, especially for those who had never raced before. “Some of them don’t even hear anything if you talk to them, they’re that focused. They’ve been training for 12 months and might be quite nervous about it. Some of the older guys who have done it a number of times, they’re more relaxed and know what to expect. It’s the inexperience for the younger ones that puts them on edge, thinking to themselves ‘will my supporters have my bike ready on time?’”