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Multisport Challenge course description

Stage 1 Mountain Bike Stage 65km

The event starts in Opotiki and follows the East Coast Scenic Highway out of Opotiki, turning right at Waiaua Bridge onto the Motu Road. The first 12km is on sealed road (State Highway 35) and the next 53km is on the winding, hilly Motu gravel road. The stage ends at the Motu School after a fast and narrow downhill. This route was well used by Maori Chief Te Kooti during the 19th century as the only direct path between Poverty Bay and Opotiki. It is now a winding metal road that sees little traffic, but is rich in history. The road is one of the best native bush mountain bike rides in the country, offering many bush archways with panoramic views beyond. This leg of the race has been voted the best mountain bike section of any race in New Zealand in a recent Internet poll. No service vehicles, spectators, or assistants may use the Motu Road. All race support traffic must travel to Motu via State Highway 2. 

Stage 2 Run 17km

The run starts at Motu school and heads out to the Motu falls. The metal road start takes competitors to the Whinray Scenic Reserve, where the route follows the historic Whinray Track. Competitors cross the Motu Falls swingbridge, a cooperative venture between the Department of Conservation and the Motu community. Competitors must walk over this bridge. Whinray Track is a consistent gentle uphill with good visibility and a firm gravelled surface. The run emerges onto a metalled road to return competitors to Motu School.

Stage 3 Road Cycle 52km

The route follows State Highway 2 from the Motu School. Competitors ride to Matawai Township on SH 2, turning right to Traffords Hill and the Waioeka Gorge Scenic Reserve. The reserve is a popular hunting and tramping area, with numerous historic sites including two bridges conserved by the Department of Conservation at Manganuku and Tauranga Valley. There are also numerous camping opportunities and short walks. The stage continues down the Waioeka Gorge to end at Oponae.

Stage 4 Kayak 27km

27km Grade one and two down the Waioeka River, to the end of the gorge. Kayakers will enjoy spectacular bush scenery and unobtrusive road support the full length of the kayak stage. For information on water levels and conditions at the Waioeka River, please click here.  Remember to treat your kayak for didymo before entering any waterways in New Zealand. Stand up paddle boards are permitted.

Stage 5 Road Cycle 8km

A flat sprint along State Highway 2 to the old Dairy Factory.

Stage 6 Run 3km

Run through the outskirts of Opotiki to the finish line at Opotiki Memorial Park.

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