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Motatapu race entries close in record time

The Icebreaker takes riders on a marathon through the Central Otago Highlands.

The Icebreaker takes riders on a marathon through the Central Otago Highlands. (Image credit: Motatapu )

Entries for the 50km Motatapu, New Zealand, high country mountain bike race to be held on March 13, 2010, closed three weeks earlier this year. The 2,000-competitor limit was reached on November 12, 2009, a record-breaking full four months before the race date.

Event Director Tracey Neil said this is continuing a trend since the event was established in 2005. Each year, the event registration fills up more quickly.

"The geographical spread of entries is also extending every year with a record number of entries from the North Island and overseas," said Neil. "Entries have come in from as far away as London and Kerikeri. We also have our usual number of celebrities which this year includes Minister of Finance Bill English back for his second year."

"Steve Gurney also entered for his first Motatapu, proving you can still be a Motatapu virgin at 46. Plus we have the Team Motatapu riders, which includes James Canny, Simon Van Velthooven and Eddie Dawkins. Eddie won gold in the 1,000m time trial at the Oceania championships at the ILT Velodrome in Invercargill this week."

Entries for the running events held in conjunction with the mountain bike race, are also going strong.

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Sue George is an editor at Cyclingnews.  She coordinates all of the site's mountain bike race coverage and assists with the road, 'cross and track coverage.