Bush Bashing, Mud and Map-Reading Mishaps: Spring Challenge 2017 Recap

Spring Challenge 2017 RecapHi all, Cecileah here. Well, we made it to the finish line of Spring Challenge South in Geraldine! Here’s a recap of our race.

My team and I took part in the six-hour race. Like all the competitors, we started with a fast raft along the Rangitata River. From there, we travelled into the hills around Little Mount Peel. The route involved some bush bashing and a very muddy descent.

The bike through the Peel Forest was a mixed bag, and involved a course change due to high water levels in the Orari River. Finally, we had to tackle the orienteering stage, which proved something of a struggle for our tired minds and bodies!

My teammates were carrying ongoing training injuries so we were pretty slow on the day. I felt fine after the event and was pleased with my quick recovery (obviously didn’t go hard enough)! And I thoroughly enjoyed every mouthful I ate 24 hours post-race!

The 2018 Spring Challenge South will be held in Westport and I’m already contemplating entering the nine-hour event. I just need to find some teammates silly enough to join me – preferably that includes someone with good navigation skills! – and stop doubting and back myself. Fingers crossed I can get a team together when registration opens on 1 April 2018.

If reading this has got you inspired to tackle an adventure or cycle event of your own, entries are still open for New Zealand’s largest cycle race, the Lake Taupo Challenge, which takes place on Saturday 25 November. Or how about tackling the Motatapu on 10 March 2018? Set against the stunning backdrop of the the Wanaka to Queenstown high country, this is one of New Zealand’s favourite off-road sporting events and offers five different categories, including a 47km mountain bike race.

If you’re coming from overseas for a cycle or adventure event, we have top-quality mountain, road and performance bikes available to hire. Take a look at your options on the website, or drop us an email

Have a great week,

P.S. 1800 women took part in this year’s Spring Challenge. Remarkably, only one second separated the top two nine-hour category teams at the finish line, with the Pak n Save team just claiming the victory from Torpedo 7.