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Wednesday, November 20, 2013
e call has gone
out for mountain men
and goat runners for
Greymouth s own
multisport inaugural race
e Mountain Man
and Goat Race will
be held on January 18,
taking up the mantle of
the Croesus Crossing
run and acting as a
training run for the
Coast to Coast, on
Event manager Phil
Lemon has been planning
the race for the past five months, using
his own multisport experience and
working with other West Coast athletes.
He acknowledged that Coast to Coast
competitors would be winding down
their training then but he believed
the race could act as a chance to work
with support crew. For others it would
be an opportunity to be compete in a
"For some, this is a stepping stone to
make sure they re okay (for Coast), for
others it would be the biggest thing they
would do because they won t do Coast to
Coast but it gives them a chance to be in
a multisport race. If you decide to take
this challenge on, you d be pretty proud
of yourself to come home."
As the first running of the event,
Lemon said he hoped to get feedback
from Coast to Coast athletes about how
it stacked up.
" is event in January will really be a
have we got it right scenario. e goal
is to put people through the course, so if
we had 30 teams I d be happy with that,
if we had 20 individuals that would be
great. We ve got capacity for 300."
A 12-hour cut-off time will be in place,
but he expects top competitors could
probably do it in eight hours and teams
could do similar.
e Mountain Man event, which is
open to individuals and three-person
teams, comprises of road cycling,
mountain running and kayaking.
Starting in Blaketown at 7am,
competitors will first cycle 31km along
the Coast Road to Barrytown. ey
then take on the mountain run over the
Croesus Track to Blackball, where they
will meet a remote transition for a 6km
mountain bike. After that begins the
26km kayak down the Grey River to the
finish line in the Blaketown Lagoon.
Meanwhile, the Goat Race, starting at
10am, will be run solely on the Croesus
Track and takes over from the Croesus
Crossing run, which had been organised
by Nelson Events from 2002-12.
Next year s event will be the first time
the track has been used since repairs by
the Department of Conservation, which
will be supervising that section.
"It s world class, and the benefit for
them is they get to show it off ... the
mountain runners will get to see how
good it really is," Lemon said.
All proper safety precautions were in
place, he said. " e traffic management is
a really integral part ... out of everything
that you do, it s got to be the biggest part
and the most detail you ve got to have."
Safety kayakers would be on the Grey
River and jetboaters on standby.
"It s not in the middle of nowhere. We
can monitor the river pretty well from
some pretty good vantage points."
In a worst case scenario, the kayak
section would be replaced by a cycle,
PICTURE: Nicholas McBride
Country gets better of town
Matt Sheehan plays the ball back for Shakur Karikia-Joseph in the Greymouth High School annual
town versus country rugby league match yesterday. e match was dedicated to the third anniversary of
the Pike River Mine disaster. e students also performed a haka and held a one-minute silence. Country
proved to have just enough over their town counterparts, winning 16-8.
At 112kg, Manu Vatuvei is one
of the biggest players in the Kiwis
squad and his absence would leave
an equally sizeable hole, which is
why he will be given every chance to
be fit to face England in the World
Cup semi-final on Sunday morning.
e 27-year-old was the only
absentee from an occasionally intense
New Zealand training overnight.
Jason Nightingale would come into
the side if Vatuvei does not recover
in time from his groin injury and
Kevin Locke seems to be winning
the battle for the No 1 jersey over
Josh Hoffman, running for most of
training in the fullback s position.
Vatuvei limped off late in the 40-4
win over Scotland last weekend
with a groin strain which came on
top of the knee injury which has
been troubling him throughout the
tournament. He has been in great
form despite his pains and strains but
the stakes are high and the Kiwis will
not want to take a half-fit player into
a World Cup semi-final.
"I think he s massive for the team,"
halfback Shaun Johnson said.
"Everyone loves playing with Manu
and he leads on the field with his
actions. at s what we love about
him. I would feel really sorry for him
if he was to miss a game like this.
He s been awesome all tournament
and deser ves to play."
Assistant coach Ivan Cleary said
they would give Vatuvei every chance
to be fit and would have a better idea
of how he was progressing after
tomorrow s training session.
" e medical advice was that there
was no use in running him today, we
probably could, but at this stage we re
trying to give him every chance to
recover so when he does train he can
train fully," Cleary said.
"I m honestly not sure (if he will
play). He surprised me last week
(when he had a knee injury) and
we re getting to the stage now where
they re pretty keen to play. When the
stakes get this high you never rule
"Honestly, I don t think it s a huge
thing (if he is ruled out). Obviously
we want Manu to be there. He s
in excellent form and it s pretty
obvious what he provides, but Jason
Nightingale has arguably been
one of the form wingers over the
last five years in the NRL and has
always done well for the Kiwis. He
is busting for a game as well, so it s a
pretty good position to be in."
Nightingale has played twice on
tour --- the 48-0 win over France
and the World Cup warm-up against
the Cook Islands. He has played 18
tests since being a late call-up for
the 2008 World Cup squad and has
also registered more than 150 NRL
games for the Dragons.
Locke spent most of the training
session at St Mary s University in
south-west London at fullback
in what looked like the top team.
Aside from prop, where the Kiwis
have five world-class front-rowers
to choose from, fullback is the most
competitive position and Locke
will hope he did enough in the win
over Scotland to be picked ahead of
Both have played twice on tour and
offer different things --- Hoffman
reads the game well, is a good
support runner and rarely has a
bad game, whereas Locke can be
a matchwinner on his day with his
range of skills but can also be erratic.
"I guess we ll find out," Cleary said
when asked if they were leaning
towards Locke playing.
"I thought he played well (against
Scotland) and that s a really
competitive situation. Both boys
have played two games and done well
in two games. It s just another one of
those tough choices."
Training started off in light-hearted
fashion but ended with more serious
intent, highlighted by a thumping
tackle on Simon Mannering by Jared
Waerea-Hargreaves that dumped the
skipper on his back.
" e intensity certainly picked up
and, from what I saw, the boys loved
it," Johnson said.
" at competitiveness is all coming
out and shows how hungry we are for
it." --- APNZ
Ireland as an opponent holds a special
significance for Sam Cane.
e All Blacks flanker started his
career against the men in green in two
very different tests last year. In the first
he came on as a replacement for No 8
Kieran Read on a freezing June night in
Christchurch, a match won 22-19 thanks
to Dan Carter s wobbly dropped goal in
the final minutes.
In the other, a week later on his home
track of Waikato Stadium, Cane started
in the No 7 jersey and made a long-lasting
impact, scoring two tries and making 20
tackles. It appeared that here indeed was
Richie McCaw s heir apparent.
He has developed massively since then
too, impressing particularly against the
Springboks at Eden Park and Australia
in Dunedin this year. A member of the
leadership group at the tender age of 21,
Cane is set for a big future.
In 14 tests (with nine starts) he has yet
to taste defeat in a black jersey. He also
has a finely-tuned nose for the tryline,
touching down seven times, including
four tries in his past five tests.
He owes his debut to a heavy knock
suffered by Read --- who was celebrating
his 50th test --- in that arm-wrestle in
Christchurch and he could hardly have
wished for a more dramatic one.
"I remember being told about two
minutes before the second half started
that Kieran Read was no good and I was
going to be out there," he said.
"It all happened pretty quickly. I
remember it was a bloody cold night.
ere wouldn t have been much time left
on the clock but I remember cleaning out
a ruck. I think Richie might have taken
it off the back (of the scrum), I cleaned
that ruck and looked up and the ball was
sailing over the posts with DC putting a
droppy over. I was relieved that my test
debut didn t end in a draw."
A week later and a tired Ireland were
demolished 60-0 in Hamilton --- a
different experience for the youngster.
" at was a special night. I believe loose
for wards can only play as well as their
team allows them to. at day obviously
things seemed to click and made my job
pretty easy in my first start. It was a pretty
special game being on my home track as
All Blacks assistant coach Ian Foster
said Ireland s closer defeats in Auckland
(42-10) and Christchurch were more
representative of the threat they possessed.
" ey were extremely tired at that point
(Hamilton). ey had put a lot of energy
into those first two test matches at the
end of a very long season.
"I think the more accurate barometer of
that tour was the first and second tests. It
was a very even tour." --- APNZ
LEAGUE WORLD CUP
PICTURE: Paul McBride
Phil Lemon at the start of the Mountain Man and
Goat Race, at the Blaketown tiphead.
Vatuvei in doubt for semi after skipping training
crucial for Cane
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