CSC duo aim for GODZone

Central Southland College PE teacher Mark Tree competes as part of the tandem team Half Dreamers in the Kathmandu Coast to Coast earlier this year.
Central Southland College pupil Tim Lawry competes in the Kathmandu Coast to Coast One Day Individual Age Group (Men’s open 18-39).

THE GODZone Adventure Race is the ultimate New Zealand challenge for Central Southland College pupil Tim Lawry (17) and PE teacher Mark Tree.

Considered the Holy Grail of adventure racing, the multisporters said they hoped to take on GODZone… eventually.

With the Kathmandu Coast to Coast crossed off the multisport competition list several times, it will be up another notch to compete in GODZone, they agreed.

Lawry, a Year 13 pupil, who turns 18 next month has competed in the Coast to Coast three times.

It was a serious, strenuous event which took a lot of training.

Injuries this year including a “dodgy knee” and injured back added to his training challenges.

Still, he managed to put in 300km cycling a week, and a couple of trips a week in the kayak on the Waiau River, he said.

“I enjoy the build-up and training, and the feeling crossing the finish line.”

This year he took on the kayaking, running and cycling alone, competing in the One Day Individual Age Group (men’s open 18-39).

Most competitors took two days to cover 243km, with a night camping at the end of the mountain run section. One Day athletes completed the distance in one day, hence the nickname The Longest Day.

But because he was 17, he needed a dispensation to compete alone in the category, his college dean and PE teacher Tree said.

“Tim had to get a dispensation to do it, and I can’t stress how huge it is for that age,” Tree said.

“He proved he was good enough and he completed it, and has a good future in it.”

For Lawry, the trek from Kumara Beach on the West Coast, crossing the main divide and finishing on the East Coast in Christchurch’s New Brighton Beach was familiar, having completed it twice before as part of a tandem team, where the pair had to be within 10m of each other throughout the event.

The first year he competed with his father, Colin Lawry, and the second with Quinn Robins, who was 2 years older than him in the two-day event.

Number 84, this year his solo time was 15 hours, 24 minutes, 41 seconds, finishing 52nd in the open and 125 overall, only an hour behind Tree (918) and his team-mate Sam Scott in the Half Dreamers tandem team of 14:25.54, who finished fourth in the open and seventh overall.

For Tree, this was his third Coast to Coast as well, having competed two previous events in the two-day individual and one-day individual.

Both teacher and pupil were members of the Southland Triathlon and Multisport Club, as were Lawry’s father and mother Tania. His sister Brooke was also into the discipline, hoping to take on the Mountain Run next year, Lawry said.

Tree said there were many Southlanders who took part in multisports and were well represented in the Coast to Coast.

“We are training with people we know all the time.”

For Tree, it was a magical sport… “getting outdoors and away from the busyness of life and into some awesome training spots”.