Four legs and a tale


Look out for tandem mountain bikers topping 90kmh.

There’s no safety in numbers for two mountain bikers pedalling a tandem in a new race on Saturday.

Mark Gould, 50, and Craig Bates, 48, have entered the sport category of the inaugural Tour de Wakatipu with a two-man bicycle borrowed from Dunedin’s R&R Sports store.

The experienced mountain bikers, who race Otago-wide and organise the 12-Hour Naseby Challenge, took the tandem for its first and only warm-up spin a fortnight ago.

Luckily they didn’t take a spill as the bike clocked 93kmh downhill. Gould isn’t expecting miracles this weekend and reckons there’s a chance they might even end up in the drink.

“We do expect to be swimming in Lake Hayes at some stage,” says the Wanaka-based retail manager.

“[Tandems] don’t go around corners very well so it could be fairly entertaining.”

More than 800 people of all levels have signed up to cycle from Millbrook Resort to Chard Farm, says Tour de Wakatipu organiser Geoff Hunt.

The route runs along the Shotover River delta and the right bank of the Kawarau River through Coneburn Station. Elite and sport competitors also cycle around Lake Hayes.

Gould, who’ll steer the tandem while Dunedin-based Bates provides peddle power at the back, plans a good time on the scenic course.

“We expect to be reasonably quick, provided we don’t crash too much,” he says. “We’ll be under two hours easily – one-and-a-half if we’re going well.”

Hunt says $5 from all entries to the race – one of three big sporting events over Easter – will go to the Cure Kids charity. 


Lake Hayes Triathlon

New Zealand’s oldest triathlon celebrates its 16th Easter holiday tomorrow.

The biannual Lake Hayes Triathlon, which started in 1983, includes a 750-metre swim or 4km kayak, 20km cycle and 5km run for both teams and individuals, kicking off at 1pm.

If swimming or kayaking isn’t your thing, there’s an optional duathlon which replaces the event’s first leg with a 1.5km run.

Registrations for both events are from 10.30am-noon at the Lake Hayes Pavilion.


The Arm Run

Runners of all levels and ages can join the second annual Arm Run organised by Remarkable Runners on Sunday.
All three categories – a 26km run from Jacks Point, a 10km run from Willow Place at Kelvin Heights, and a new 2.5km junior run from Queenstown Gardens – finish at Queenstown’s Memorial Gate.

Late entries will be accepted at start areas between 8.30-9.30am and there’s a compulsory briefing at 9.45am for the 10am start.

Race director Murray Bennett expects 300-plus competitors.