Walkers ready for Stump the Hump challenge

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A SOUTHERN track which typically takes three days to walk, will be conquered in 24 hours by participants in the annual Macpac Stump the Hump challenge next weekend.
‘‘Walking 55km in 24 hours…. It is not for the faint›hearted,’’ Hump Ridge Track manager Cedric Wedderburn said.
Stump the Hump, now in its sixth year, is a fully supported adventure walk which challenges participants to walk the entire Tuatapere Hump Ridge Track in the Fiordland National Park in a day, with proceeds put towards the upkeep of the track.
‘‘It is not a race, but rather an opportunity to experience a day in the life of the track…and doing it at night gives it a different slant,’’ Mr Wedder› burn said.
The walk starts at midnight on February 6, with walkers arriving at the sub›alpine Okaka Lodge in time for breakfast and to see the sun rise over Fiordland and the Southern Ocean. The track then continues over historic viaducts and unspoilt wilder› ness to Port Craig and the finish line.
A new aspect to the challenge this year was the inclusion of a category for corporate teams of three, Mr Wedderburn said. Each team paid for two participants and the third was free.
‘‘It is a really good personal [and physical] challenge and great fun to do with colleagues.’’
Mr Wedderburn said 60 entries had been received so far, but he expected to receive a rush of entries in the two weeks before the event. Last year’s event attracted 188 participants.
Normally between 80% to 90% of participants successfully complete the challenge, he said. People were gener› ally aware of what it entailed and were in good physical condition, but if they were unable to complete the walk, they would be taken out by helicopter.
Í Stump the Hump, February 6. Cost $150 per person or $300 for corporate teams of three. Registrations close midnight on February 5. For more information or to book go to www.humpridgetrack.co.nz.

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