A strong female field

In her element: Alex Martin, pictured on the Waimakiriri River, is a formidable kayaker in multisport races

Several female Queenstown multisporters are tipped to do well in the two-day version of the iconic Coast to Coast race, kicking off today.

In a bit of a dream team, kayaking specialist Alex Martin’s teamed up with ultrarunner Becky Nixon in the veteran category, while well-performed Jess Rathgen’s doing the individual two-day.

And making up a talented three-woman team will be Kat Bulk, Ruth Chapman-Olla and Sarah Fletcher.

Martin, 45, says competing in the relay race will be ‘‘a little bit less hectic than what I’d normally do’’, but she’s conserving herself for the GODZone multisport event starting in Fiordland on February 23.

Martin alighted on her teammate after the first two women she approached turned her down because they’re pregnant.

‘‘So I looked for someone in more my age group, and I found of course Becky Nixon, who’s a fantastic runner and a good mate’’ — they’re calling themselves ‘The Godmothers’.

Starting on the West Coast today, Martin will do the first run and bike legs before tagging Nixon for the mountain run.

On Saturday, Martin will do the first bike leg then run down to undertake the kayak leg, then her teammate will do the final bike ride into Christchurch.

Despite only taking up kayaking in 2016, Martin’s established a stellar Coast to Coast CV — fastest female veteran in the two-day individual in 2018, then twice runner-up female veteran in The Longest Day.

She wanted to enter this month as there are a number of other Queenstown Kayak Club members in two-person teams in the two-dayer, ‘‘so there’ll be a bit of friendly competition going on’’.

Long-time club coach Steve Norton says there’ll be a number of club members ‘‘eyeballing each other throughout the race’’, and suspects there’s ‘‘a bunch of boys’’ worried about Martin’s team.

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