The Abel Tasman National Park is renowned for its golden beaches, lush native forests, sculptured granite cliffs and marine life.
However it’s world famous coast track is primo trail running territory and since 1994 the Abel Tasman Coastal Classic has built its reputation as “ one event to put on your list for the run of a lifetime”.
Saturday will be no exception for its 26th edition with another sell out field of 325 competitors treading their 36km journey from Awaroa to Marahau along the famed pathway.
2017 winner, Vajin Armstrong ( Canterbury) will be hoping to notch another victory however fellow Cantabrian, Flavio Vianna has finished runner up in both 2017 and 2018 so will be hoping to go one place better.
Kirsten Wright ( Canterbury) ran surperbly last year for her clear cut win and may again have to much class. Switzerland’s Severine Pont Combe has a solid pedigree as a international cross country skier plus a good mountain running background so could be the closest shadow amongst Wright’s chasers.
20 from Overseas , 100 plus North Islanders, the same number of Cantabrians, 45 Nelsonians with the rest scattered from around the country make up the field which has a two thirds/ third male female split.
First finishers should reach Marahau around midday.
Meanwhile organisers, Nelson Events, are also preparing for 2020 with the ever popular Alpine Lodge Loop the Lake first up in April. Entries opened last week and already over 250 are signed on for their lap of Lake Rotoiti leaving less than 150 spots remaining.