Banks facing up to his Longest Day

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Queenstown’s Iain Banks (right) will achieve his sporting goal when he crosses the Coast to Coast finish line in Christchurch on Saturday.

The 31-year-old is tackling the gruelling 243km multisport race in the one-day event for the first time.
Banks already ticked off the Speight’s Coast to Coast two-day event a few years ago – but the challenge of the Longest Day has lured him back.

“I didn’t feel the urge to do it again but the only thing left was to come back and do the one-day. It’s just a bit of a challenge to see if I can make it.”

Compared with his two-day event – which he completed in a respectable 15 hours without any on-course training – Banks has been preparing “reasonably seriously”.

He’s been training with local entrants and has twice practised on the course – which runs from Kumara Beach on the West Coast to Sumner Beach in Christchurch.

“I’m just in there to finish, to be honest. Ideally, if everything went to plan, I’d be aiming for about 14 hours,” he says.

Banks is joined by fellow Queenstown one-dayers Brent Hurdson and Mike Kelly, and two-day individual competitor Aaron Nash. Former two-day team winners Steve Norton and Adrian Bailey are back for another shot at glory.