Race Options

The Coast to Coast is an iconic multisport event based in the South Island of New Zealand. 

Held every February, the race starts on the West Coast, at Kumara Beach and traverses the width of the South Island, crossing the main divide and finishing on the East Coast with the finish at the Pier on New Brighton Beach in Christchurch. 

The race is one of the world's longest running multi-sports events and is older even than the Hawaiian Ironman. From similar roots, Robin Judkins founded the event in 1983 when just 25 hardy souls took on the 243km challenge over two days. 

Over the years that grew to a peak of close to 1000 competitors and the event has grown with different sections to suit all those from the professional athletes to the weekend warriors. 

The One Day race was introduced in 1989 and has the title of the World Multisport Championship with the top athletes covering the entire course in close to 11 hours. The other end of the field sees some competitors in the Two Day race taking closer to 24 hours.

The Coast to Coast has become almost a right of passage for multisport athletes from around the world with over 18,000 people having completed the event in the 32 years to date.

Competitors leave on foot from the black sands and lush windswept landscapes on the West Coast, running 2.2km inland to their waiting bikes. They then follow the Taramakau River to the foothills of the Southern Alps where they switch their bikes for runners and the first true test of the course. 

The 30.5km run is mainly off trail with the rocky riverbed often the only direct line up the valley. Competitors encounter multiple river crossings with frigid crystal clear water and an elevation gain of nearly 800m on their way to Goat Pass and the start of the descent. With the very fastest athletes taking nearly 3 hours the run is as much a test of co-ordination and strength as it is outright speed.

A short 15km ride follows before the second jewel in the course. The mighty Waimakariri River. 70kms of braids and a stunning gorge, the river section is for many both the highlight and the crux of the race. The water flows swiftly in places and mixes long calm sections with rapids up to grade 2 in size. It takes competitors from the heart of the Southern Alps out on to the Canterbury Plains where just one final 70km ride stands between competitors and the finish on the East Coast at the New Brighton Pier amongst a vibrant beachside festival. 

While the One Day athletes complete the distance in a day, the majority of competitors take two days to cover the same course, with an overnight camp at the end of the Mountain run section.

C2C map schematic

For those chasing the front of the race, this is a lung busting sprint from the start on the beach at Kumara, up a short gravel track and onto the road. For those with more sensible pacing this is a great warm up for the long day ahead. There is a slight elevation gain in the first kilometre then dead flat through to the bikes. The two day race starts on the Friday at 7:00am and it is already light, the One day competitors start in the dark at 6:00am with the first light appearing within 15-20 minutes of the start.

The first cycle leg follows the Taramakau River to the foothills of the Southern Alps, it has a net elevation gain - rising to 270m above sea level, but also includes several fast downhills. In the Two day event the teams are often pushing the pace with some larger bunches forming, individuals and teams are mixed together while in the One day event the packs often split up much more with athletes trying to pace themselves for the long day ahead.

The first major obstacle of the race, the run starts with a 3km flat section through farm land on a good trail before competitors turn left and cross the Otira river. From here the next 12km consists of multiple river crossing, mainly off trail running in the river bed and spasmodic trekking and animal trails as the course follows the Deception river. The course continues to rise gradually until you reach a network of bush tracks and river crossings which take you through the upper Deception Gorge. This 4km section rises much more steeply and often involves clambering between larger rock features, steeper rough bush trails and still more river crossings. When you pop out of the gorge you have one final scrabble up a creek bed to Goat Pass Hut and the pass just above it at 1070m elevation. Once over the top the trail is much more defined and is a mixture of trail and board walks and the trail quickly starts to lose elevation. After the initial drop into the Mingha River the track flattens out and follows a rough track until the final short climb up Dudleys Knob. After this final climb you once again drop towards the river and are back running on and off trail in the river bed. There is a short respite with a bout 1km on a stock bank before the final 1.5km over often the roughest section of river bed to the finish of the Mt run at Klondyke Corner elevation 640m. This is the overnight camp for the two day competitors.

Tending downhill and often with a good tail wind this ride still has plenty of climbing mixed in with some very fast downhills. Flat to start before some gradual climbing and onto a long fast downhill. The course then undulates with steady climbs and steeper downhills before e the final climb up to the bike drop at the top of the Mt White Road at 570m Elevation (Two day competitors are set off in groups at the start of Day two and is draft legal - This section  is non drafting for One day competitors).

One Day competitors drop their bikes at the top of the road while Two day competitors run WITH their bikes down the gravel road, across a one lane bridge and into the river bed where the transition to kayaks is situated at an elevation of 530m.

Typically in February the river is running low at between 30 and 50 cumec, but picking up water form side tributaries continually along the length of the paddle, so there is significantly more water flowing at the finish than at the start. The course drops 280m over the course of the paddle to 250m elevation and has stunningly clear water. The river is considered a Grade 2 paddle and starts out as a mainly braided channels with many different navigation options - river reading skills here will be an advantage to finding a fast line. In several places the river narrows up and forms the first Grade 2 level rapids after about 25-40 minutes of paddling at the area known as the Rock Garden. From here it is about 60-90 minutes  through similar braids, channels and mainly Grade 1 riffles to the Gorge section of the paddle. Here the river narrows up into a stunning Gorge with high walls and beautiful scenery. The rapids here are more often Grade two spaced out with plenty of flat water paddling between them. When you see the Red Bridge you have almost made it out the Gorge with about 30 minutes of paddling to the final braided section starting at Woodstock. At Woodstock you burst out of the Gorge into a wide river plan and the river weaves it’s way down to Gorge bridge and the transition in the distance.

A short run up to the bikes, it can be hard to get the legs going after sitting for over 4 hours in the boat. The trail climbs about 40m to the bike transition above the road.

The final ride is false flat down hill, although if there’s the usual sea breeze it will still feel like its false flat up hill! Two day competitors can draft in this section and the bunches tend to grow as the faster groups ride past and pick up those capable of jumping into the draft. For the one competitors they are on their own with no drafting. Top competitors often ride Time Trail specific bikes in this final section. The sea breeze tends to get stronger as you close in on the East Coast so pace yourself well! You will also travel along one of the straightest stretches of road in NZ with no turns or bends for 26km. As you come along the parade into the finish you will hear and see the carnival atmosphere, as you dismount staff will take your bike and rack it for you while all you have to do is make it the final few yards onto the beach and up the finishing chute Elevation 0m.

One Day Event (The Longest Day)

Race Date: Saturday 9 February 2019


Early BirdStandard
One Day Individual $915 via internet banking ($933.30 online)

$995 via internet banking ($1014.90 online)
(until 31 Oct 2018)

$1,075 via internet banking ($1096.50 online)
(1 Nov 2018 - 13 Jan 2019)

All prices include GST. Early bird entry fee applies for the first 350 full race entries or until 30 June 2018, whichever occurs first. Late fees of $150 apply after 13 January 2019.

There are Age Group and Elite categories for the One Day event. If you want to be eligible for the prize money you MUST enter the Elite category. There will be seeding for the top 10 Men and Women - seeding will done on the 31st of December 2019. The top 10 seeded athletes (Male & Female) will be assigned a GPS tracker (free of charge) that must be worn in the race vest at all times during the event.

The One Day race is the World Multisport Championship event and is also referred to as the "Longest Day". The One Day race is only open to individuals and as the name suggests sees competitors complete the full 243km course in one day. There are relatively tight cut-offs and it is recommended competitors tackle the two day event prior to the one day event unless they have considerable endurance racing experience. See the One Day handbook for more info (you must be 18 years old to enter the one day event).

Two Day Event

Race Date: Friday 8 and Saturday 9 February 2019

 Early BirdStandard
Two Day Individual $915 via internet banking ($933.30 online)

$995 via internet banking ($1,014.90 online) until 31 Oct 2018

$1,075 via internet banking ($1,096.50 online) 1 Nov 2018 - 13 Jan 2019

Two Day team (2 person relay) $1,475 via internet banking ($1,504.50 online)

$1,575 via internet banking ($1,606.50 online) until 31 Oct 2018

$1,645 via internet banking ($1677.90 online)  (1 Nov 2018 - 13 Jan 2019)

Two Day team (3 person relay) $1,675 via internet banking ($1,708.50 online)

$1,775 via internet banking ($1,810.50) until 31 Oct 2018

$1,845 via internet banking ($1,843.98 online) 1 Nov 2018 - 13 Jan 2019

All prices include GST. Early bird entry fee applies for the first 350 full race entries or until 30 June 2018, whichever occurs first. Late fees of $150 apply after 13 January 2019

The Two Day event covers the same course as the One Day event but starts a day earlier (Friday) and competitors camp overnight at Klondyke Corner, after the Mountain Run section before tackling the river and final ride on the Saturday. The Two Day event is open to individuals, relay teams and tandem teams and is the event most people undertake as their Coast to Coast experience. There is an amazing atmosphere at the overnight camp and the Two Day event is suitable for anyone with a good level of fitness and an adventurous streak. See the Two Day handbooks which are specific to each event for more details.

Two Day Event - Tandem Team

Race Date: Friday 8 and Saturday 9 February 2019



Early BirdStandard
Two Day - Tandem Team (2 person) $2,095 via internet banking ($2,136.90 online)

$2,195 via internet banking ($2,238.90 online) until 31 Oct 2018

$2,250 via internet banking ($2,295 online) 1 Nov - 13 Jan 2019

All prices include GST. Early bird entry fee applies for the first 350 full race entries or until 30 June 2019, whichever occurs first. Late fees of $200 apply after 13 January 2019.

The Two Day Tandem event is an event where teams of two complete the entire course over two days together. You must run and bike within 50m of each other at all times and teams paddle a supplied double kayak (Barracuda AR DUO) which is included in the entry fee). See the Two day Tandem handbook for all the details.

If you have your own tandem kayak that you would like to use the entry fee will be at the early bird rate, please contact us to get the discount code.  If you have a Barracuda AR Duo you will be in the competitive category, if you don't have a Barracuda AR Duo you will be in the recreational category.

Training Kayak Hire - 2 Barracuda AR DUO tandem kayaks are available to hire click here to find out more details.

Mountain Run

Race Date: Friday 8 February 2019

Mountain Run $375 via internet banking ($382.50 online)

All prices include GST. There are no early bird entry fees for mountain run only entries. Late fees of $50 apply after 13 January 2019.


You can tackle just the famous Mountain run section on the Friday when the two day competitors are on the Mountain section of the course. Competitors start once the bulk of the two day Multisport field has passed the transition point to the Mountain run. There is transport available from the finish at Klondyke Corner to the start at Aickens in the morning (must be pre booked) and all the details are available in the Mountain Run Handbook.


Two Day Individual

$595 via internet banking ($606.90 online)

Two Day team (2 person)

$750 via internet banking ($765 online)

Two Day team (3 person)

$750 via internet banking ($765 online)

Two Day - Tandem Team (2 person)

$1,295 via internet banking ($1,320.90 online)

Mountain Run

$195 via internet banking ($198.90 online)


The schools section is available to students still enrolled at High School on race day, and are between 14 and 18 years old (different age restrictions apply for each event). The Schools section is sanctioned by the NZSSSC and the official school section is the 3 person teams event. There is a male, female and mixed category. One team member does the runs, one the bikes and the other the kayak section. There are discounts for all sections of the Coast to Coast  for high school students. See the two day handbooks for details on each event and what it entails.

Two Day Event - Corporate Challenge

 Early BirdStandard
Two Day team (3 person) $1,645 

$1,745 (until 31 Oct 2017)

$1,795 (1 Nov - 14 Jan 2018)

All prices include GST. Early bird entry fee applies for the first 350 full race entries or until 30 June 2017, whichever occurs first. Late fees of $250 apply after 14 January 2018.

The Corporate Challenge event is a three person team competing in the Two Day event. One person does the runs, one person completes the biking, and the other the kayak section. At least two members of the team must be full time employees of the company and you can have one ring in. Check the Corporate Challenge page for further category details and see the 3 person team handbook for all event details.

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