Overseas competitors make up the majority of athletes for the second running of New Zealand's first ultra-staged race that has attracted competitors from 15 countries.
Starting again this year at the base of Mt Cook on Sunday the 24th of February the Anchor Milk Otago Alps 2 Ocean Ultra in one week travels 323 kilometres to Oamaru in North Otago following the off road Alps 2 Ocean cycle trail for much of the journey, with about a quarter of this year’s event going through private farmland.
Interest was so high in the event it quickly sold out with almost two thirds of the 120 competitors coming from 14 overseas countries with Australia providing 34, the largest number of off shore athletes.
Kiwis are well represented with 46 on the start line and there are nine competitors from the United States and Canada. Other countries represented are England, Scotland, Ireland, Brazil, Estonia, France, Germany, Italy, Switzerland and Tonga
“Last year’s event had 126 amazing competitors from all over world along with 30 volunteers that spent seven days together, sharing some moments, emotions and experiences that will last forever,” Race director Mike Sandri said. “And we’re ready to do it all again this year.”
Technically an ‘ultra-run’ is defined as anything longer than the standard marathon distance of 42 kilometres, but that’s where any similarity ends
Timaru Herald - Timaru's longest-serving firefighter giving back to helicopter service that saved father's lifehttps://www.stuff.co.nz/timaru-herald/news/110437116/timarus-longestserving-firefighter-giving-back-to-helicopter-service-that-saved-fathers-life
Timaru's longest-serving firefighter Trevor Karton, is about to mountainbike 310 kilometres in three days to give back to the helicopter service that saved his father's life.
Now, the 66-year-old firefighter is one of 21 South Canterbury emergency services personnel tackling the Alps 2 Ocean cycle trail to raise funds for the helicopter service, as well as the Mental Health Foundation and New Zealand Flying Doctor Service.
Karton, the oldest participant in the February 18-20 ride, has done pieces of the trail but was looking forward to doing the full Aoraki/Mt Cook to Oamaru distance.
Alps 2 Ocean Ultra organiser Mike Sandri's take on this year's event is bound to send shivers down the spines of the 125 athletes competing in the endurance adventure race - it is going to be tougher than last year.
The event, held for the first time last year, will be staged between February 24 and March 2, 2019.
It will involve 125 athletes from 15 nations, including New Zealand, running a course of more than 320km over tough terrain, including sections of the Alps 2 Ocean cycle trail, in seven stages in as many days.
For those with a love of adventure, beautiful landscapes and interesting people, the Alps 2 Ocean Cycle Trail is a must for the to-do list.
New Zealand’s longest continual cycle trail begins at the foot of Aoraki Mount Cook in the Southern Alps and ends some 300 plus kilometres away at sea-level in Oamaru; 780 m lower in altitude than the start. The descent from the alps to the ocean takes each visitor on a journey – not only through breath-taking scenery, but also into the communities and the lives of the people who are so passionate about their trail and the opportunities it can bring to their visitors and to those who live alongside it.
The region's emergency services are combining pedalling power forces to take on a 310 kilometre mountain-bike in three days to raise money for three charities.
Twenty members of Fire and Emergency New Zealand, South Canterbury police and South Canterbury St John are preparing to do the South Canterbury Emergency Services Charity Ride - Alps 2 Ocean in February.
Wanting an old-school camping experience, John Shaw and Ian Sutherland packed their mountain bikes and headed to the Waitaki Lakes to get away from it all.
Setting up camp at Sailors Cutting, they struck out to Clay Cliffs on day one and from Ohau Lodge to Tarnbrae and back on their two day cycling excursion… Read all about it here…
“Niwa said a record record-breaking 217mm of rain was recorded in Oamaru, more than five times the long-term November average of 44.7mm. It was the highest amount recorded since records began in 1941.” Read more here…on 30 November 2018 read more
The Ledbrook’s arranged their own 6 day A2O Cycle Trail ride, booking their accommodation in advance. They flew their gear and bikes from Auckland to Christchurch, borrowed their sons car and set off to start their ride from Tekapo. Read more about their adventures and see their photos here…on 21 November 2018 read more
[Alps 2 Ocean is featured in a fantastic eight page feature in their Great New Zealand Trail Rides editorial in their Spring 2018 edition of Go Travel]
Apparently no longer content for more leisurely pursuits, those in their 50s, 60s and 70s are donning lycra and taking to the saddle for epic rides around NZ. One of the grandest of New Zealand great cycle rides is the 306km Alps 2 Ocean Cycle Trail (A2O). This is New Zealand in all its colour and beauty: from the highest mountains, past great lakes and rivers, down to the ocean. Starting at either Aoraki/Mt Cook (helicopter crossing required), or at Lake Tekapo (no helicopter required), the trail crosses spectacular countryside before fetching up in the quaint and arty seaside town of Oamaru.
The Alps 2 Ocean offers an adventure for all walks of life - for the foodies try the delicious alpine salmon along the way - you can even catch one yourself! The trail journeys down through the Waitaki wine region where you can sample various local drops, and to finish, treat yourself to an award-winning cheese or two with a tasting accompanied by a factory tour in Oamaru.
For the thrill seekers, add a helicopter or ski plane over the glaciers to your itinerary to get the adrenalin pumping before starting your journey. Take a break from the bike seat in Omarama and experience the breath-taking scenery from a glider or shoot over the Waitaki River weaving through the braids on a jet boat...
Every year when Frommer's decides which destinations to include on their eagerly awaited Best Places to Go list, they ask their global team of travelling experts to name their favourites. How you can settle on just 16 places when the world is so full of wonders? Yet they did.
Alps 2 Ocean Cycle Trail, South Island New Zealand
In just a few years of hard work a major tourist initiative was completed by cobbling together the Alps 2 Ocean Cycle Trail, a stunning and cheerfully hospitable new tourist track, from old stock routes, miners' trecks and rail lines. You can start at Aoraki/Mt Cook which sets a perfect standard for "awesome". Then the ride wanders past pristine lakeshores, great sweeps of tussock grasses and stands of mountain beech, weird rock formations, ancient caves and country pubs. Your destination is a pretty seaside town and the surprising sight of Victorian-era streets and original buildings from the 1880s.