Whaka 100 returns in Rotorua

New Zealand endurance race set for another year

One of New Zealand's toughest one-day mountain bike races, the Whaka 100 will happen this weekend, on Saturday, October 3. It will be run on the trails in Rotorua's Whakarewarewa Forest, which is famous for its fast, flowing trails in an exotic forest of giant Californian Redwoods, Australian Eucalyptus, Pine and iconic native silver ferns.

"Thousands of riders enjoy the Forest's trails every year," said Nduro Events' Dean Watson. "We just stitch most of them together in a single day."

The race attracts competitors from New Zealand and Australia. If a male or female winner breaks the course record, he or she will receive a cash bonus.

"For the men that time is an incredible 4:43 and for the women, the time is not much easier at 5:07," said Marcus Diprose, also of Nduro Events, which has run the event for three years. "In the first year, the benchmark we set was five hours for the men and 5:45 for the women - and we thought we were being pretty conservative with that. But last year they blitzed it and we had to pay out in both categories."

Also at stake is a prize that is unique in New Zealand, but part of a world wide series. Up for grabs is major US bike manufacturer, GT's Golden Bike.

"The Whaka 100 is the ultimate challenge, so it's great we've got the ultimate blinged out prize," said Diprose. "It's for riders who aren't funded by a team or a manufacturer - the real weekend warriors. We'll draw the winner from all the category winners who qualify."

The event also offers 50- and 25-kilometre options and a 60/40-kilometre, two-person team relay.

The Whakarewarewa Forest will likely host the 2010 Singlespeed World Championships (SSWC), which were awarded to Rotarua, New Zealand, just two weekends ago, at this year's SSWC in Durango, Colorado.

For more information, visit www.n-duro.co.nz/whaka/.

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