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Kauri Runners Turn 10
Dec 20, 2013
The Coromandel’s Great Cranleigh Kauri Run turned 10 on 30 November. This trail run across the Coromandel’s Central Divide is so much more than another great race in a great place. For every runner who has finished this unique event, the organisers have planted a new Kauri tree.
Almost 300 runners from five countries turned out for the 10th anniversary Great Cranleigh Kauri Run. In the 10 years sinceits inception by Coromandel event organisers Keith Stephenson and Andy Reid, this unique event has planted almost 3000 new Kauri seedlings on the very trail it follows.
Starting at Waikawau Bay on the rugged Pacific Coast, the feature 32k run traverses the Coromandel Ranges from east to west with over 800m of vertical climbing to finish at Coromandel Township on the Hauraki Gulf. In recent years, the organisers have added 13k, 23k and even 70k options. But every distance takes in golden beaches, native bush and copious stream crossings.
Bay of Plenty runner Sjors Corporaal has made a name for himself in recent years as the best mountain runner on the domestic scene. The tougher the course the better the Galatea farmer goes. In 2009 he set the current race record at 2hrs
25min, and then won again the following year for good measure. As impressive as Sjors Corporaal was, however, the women’s race threw up the closest competition. Cambridge’s Jenni Hoogeveen led over Waikawau Lookout, but by Tokotea she had been joined by Auckland’s Jo Bannister. The Aucklander was fleetest of foot on the plummet down to Coromandel town, where she crossed the finish line in 3hrs 37min 18secs.
The Great Cranleigh Kauri Run is the second of Adventure Racing Coromandel’s popular summer events, which include the Cranleigh K2 Cycle Classic and the ARC Adventure Race. These events benefit the Spirit of Coromandel Trust, which
provides opportunities for young people to experience the outdoors.