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Photo credit: Alps 2 Ocean Ultra

First stage ultra launched in New Zealand


By Alice Morrison

Michael Sandri has created a new 301km ultra stage race in New Zealand, the Back Country Cuisine Alps 2 Ocean Ultra. Starting at the base of New Zealand's highest mountain, runners will race 301kms to the small harbour of Oamaru, located on the shores of the Pacific Ocean.

The event will follow the Alps 2 Ocean track, starting in Mt Cook on February 23rd and finishing in Oamaru on March 3rd. Following a traditional stage race format, the shortest day will see runners cover 27km, and the longest, 85 km.

Sandri said that he came up with the idea while competing in a 2700km race around the Grand Canyon in the USA. He was asked if something like this was happening in New Zealand but had to answer no. That spurred him on to create his own race.

Race numbers will be limited to about 120 in order to keep it sustainable.

"We don't want to ruin tracks by having too many people run them", he said. "We want to keep them preserved so we can continue to run the event for years to come."

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