Great Barrier Island’s Classic Competitor Event, the Barry Mouat Memorial Marathon aka The Wharf to Wharf, will have a slightly different ‘flavour’ this year.
The storm that hit the island on June 10th caused serious damage to the Forest Road section of the regular marathon course and has forced organisers to come up with a suitable alternative. Current local opinion suggests they’ve achieved this goal nicely.
So how will this new route see the expected 250 or so competitors find their way to the Tryphena Wharf finish line?
Organiser Mike Brown expects the event will begin somewhere in Okiwi. The school or coastal campground are both high on the list of possible starting points. What is definite is that the route will travel along the stunning Okiwi – Harataonga coastal trail (approx. 13kms) to Harataonga camp-ground and then up to the main Aotea Road via the Harataonga Road.
Competitors can expect to be on sealed roads for the remainder of the race. Apart from one fairly sustained climb up from Awana the route is either flat or descending and incredibly scenic all the way down to the Crossroads. From here competitors continue along the original Wharf 2 Wharf route to the Shoal Bay Wharf finish line.
Last year there were just over 200 participants and organisers have capped off this years registrations at 250. The event is open to all age groups and fitness levels.
Competitors are welcome to walk it, run it or ride it. Although it is promoted as a full marathon, 42.2 kms, some people are happier to do the first or second half only.
Some see it as a fun personal challenge while others are serious competitors looking to have their name on the record sheet for ever more.