The Wapiti

The thing I love most about multisport is the variety of modes in which we get to interact with nature. As competitive as the sport can be, it is not all about competition. Yes, there is a very competitive and evolved segment to the sport, and healthy rivalries at the less pointy end of the field, but what draws and holds many of us to the sport is the ability to develop new skills to test ourselves against the elements, a hankering that is even stronger now in the digital age than ever before. The 100k ultra is now the new marathon, this seems to suggest that people want to test and find themselves in this age of distraction. The multisport journey is more than the events themselves.

This past week I had the privilege of venturing into the wilderness of the Fiordland National Park with some good mates. A place that is not to be taken lightly and one where I felt truly in the wild. Our 3 day adventure consisted of float plane, hike and pack raft. As it played out, we landed into Lake Hankinson due to poor weather over the pass we had planned to fly through – the pilot was keen on staying away from what he referred to as cumulo granite – I was on board with his sentiment. We spent the remainder of the day hiking through the most pristine and ancient looking forest that I have ever seen, some of the boggiest bogs and pack rafting across a glassy lake enveloped by 1000m faces. We spent two nights in the Lake Thomson hut which we used as a base to explore from and got to meet adventurer Mark Jones – well famed for his expedition with Graham Charles and Marcus Waters in Antarctica – on his solo traverse of Fiordland as he raises money for mental health.The final day we got to packraft down the rivers that we had navigated our way up two days earlier.It is no secret that there a more than a few disappointed people right now who have dipped out on their Coast to Coast entry for 2022. I would encourage you to start your journey all the same. Start your kayaking journey and give yourself the gift of time to enjoy it. Find trail running and kayaking events to enter. Enter The Motu Challenge based out of Opotiki for example. It is a fantastic event that I would encourage people to go for. If you are a first timer and not super fit, I recommend doing it as a team with a mountain biker for the first 65km leg so that you can do the run, road bike, grade 2 paddle and bike/run to the end. This is stunning event and will get you well on your way. Training is all part of the journey – enjoy it.

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