86 people trekked their way from one side of Maungatautari Mountain to the other last Sunday, competing in a multisport race which raised $860 for the ecological island Sanctuary Mountain Maungatautari.
The Maunga Mission challenged competitors to take on a 72km adventure, cycling to the southern side of Maungatautari, running over the mountain, cycling down to Lake Karapiro and paddling the final 10km to the finish line.
Eight-time competitor Patrick Foley had hoped to complete the event within five hours, and finished just 11 seconds past his goal. But he was just happy to finish, he said, and see his son Jack do well.
Competing in the Full Maunga event for the second time, Jack Foley, 16, finished ahead of all other secondary school competitors and was fifth overall with a time of four hours and 52 minutes.
Despite having an extra kilometre to run this year, due to a new route out of the mountain enclosure, he managed to shave about half an hour off last year’s time.
His St Peter’s school mate Hector Magillivray passed him on the mountain run, but after succumbing to some minor gut problems he finished eighth overall, behind Patrick in sixth place.
“We all had a great day,” said Patrick. “The fog made for a cool damp start, but we ran into the sun going over Maungatautari – then back into the fog!”
“Jack finished the first bike just behind me but, predictably, passed me for good on the early slopes of the mountain.”
In first place in the Full Maunga race was Hawkes Bay elite multisport athlete Scott McDonald finishing in a staggering three hours and 53 minutes. Whakatane’s Tiahna Braithwaite was the fastest woman, finishing in five hours and 53 minutes.
Peter Melling was presented with the Malcolm Dunning Award for being the oldest competitor at the event. At 70 years old he finished with a time of six hours and 14 minutes. Cambridge local Malcolm Dunning passed away two years ago and was involved in every Maunga Mission event.