Adventure Racing Coromandel provide excellent events for outgoing individuals. It was established at the turn of the new century by local Coromandel people Keith and Rita Stephenson and Andy Reid. Rita was born in Coromandel, Keith has lived in Coromandel for the past 35 years and Andy, a relative new comer to the area, moved to Coromandel 20 years ago.
They share a passion for multi-sports (kayaking, cycling and running) and the Coromandel peninsula. They decided to join forces to organise a 24 hour Adventure Race. Their vision was to create an India Jones type adventure and so they named the first event "Journey into the Unknown".
The adventure involved 30 teams of up to 4 people navigating their way around a secret course using kayaks, mountain bikes and on foot. They also had to pass a test of marksmanship with a rifle and make their way through an old gold mine that passes through a hill top high in the Coromandel ranges ( the only snag was that teams had to dismantle their mountain bikes to get through the mine) . The event was a great success and the following year’s "Journey into the Lost World" saw the race grow by 50% to 45 teams.
The next development from the ARC team was the K2, short for Kuaotunu 200, a 200 km road cycle race which takes competitors from Coromandel through Thames, Tairua, Whitianga and passes through Kuaotunu and by Matarangi before ending back in Coromandel. The start and finish rotate through each of these Coromandel townships. The first running of this event took place on November 2nd and attracted 400 competitors. In subsequent years the Pearl Izumi K1(100km) and the Quarter K (50km) were added to open the race to riders of all abilities.
In Maori, Kuaotunu translates loosely as "to inspire fear in young animals" which may be quite appropriate for what is probably the toughest one day cycling challenge in the Southern Hemisphere. The race is modelled on the great European one day classics and would be similar to competing in one of the mountain stages of the Tour De France with a King of the Mountains competition on the seven major hills that it passes through.
Finally the last race, the Kauri Run, was inspired by the need to put something back into the Environment that we so often take for granted. The Kauri Run is a 32km and 13km mountain/trail run takes competitors from one of the most stunning beaches in the World, Waikawau Beach, to Coromandel or Colville. A kauri tree is planted for each competitor that takes part in the following winter. The aim is to create a 32km avenue of kauri for future generations to enjoy. To date, with the help of a number of competitors coming back for the day, we have planted over 2,500 trees.
Keith, Rita and Andy’s vision are to create events that are challenging, safe and fun and to share the hospitality of the Coromandel people and the many secrets that the Peninsula has to offer to those that take up the challenge.
Keith and Rita Stephenson 07-866-8613
Andy Reid 0274-921-348