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Racing . . . The start of the Rakahuri Rage, a six-hour team event that has been cancelled due to Covid-19 restrictions. Instead an Amazing Race is being planned on March 6 to fill the void. PHOTO: SHELLEY TOPP

By ROBYN BRISTOW

The Amazing Race is coming to North Canterbury on March 6.

Labelled as an “antisocial adventure race”, it is designed to help fill the gaping void for those being constantly disappointed about the cancellation of high level sporting events due to Covid-19.

The North Canterbury Sport and Recreation Trust (NCSRT) has stepped up to the mark, particularly after the cancellation of its well-established Rakahuri Rage event, which exposed a high demand for organised sporting activities that could be run under Covid restrictions.

The NCSRT decided to address this by putting a specifically designed antisocial adventure race on the sporting calendar, suitable for a wide range of ages and abilities, where teams will traverse a course by bike and running/walking, working together to collect points and solve puzzles along the way.

Race Organiser Tony Kean says the idea to run an adventure race in North Canterbury had been on his “to-do” list since he competed in one with his daughter Amber a couple of years ago.

But it took the cancellation of the Rage and other events this year to trigger him to finally put his plans into action.

“To me an adventure race is an ideal option for the current situation as it doesn’t take much to change it into a socially distanced event.

“We can easily stagger team starts and send teams off to do different sections of the course so there is very little interaction between teams through the race.

“And by finding different ways to do a pre-race briefing, and prize giving afterwards, there will be no mass gatherings as part of the event.”

While describing the Adventure Race as “antisocial”, Kean says it will still be a fun and challenging event that can be done in a group of family or friends.

“It is an ideal family race that will suit a wide range of ages, experience and fitness.

“We’ve got short and long course options that will see people out on the course for anywhere between 90 minutes to 4 hours, and we’re allowing people to use E-bikes if they want.

“It’s more about getting people out being active, exercising their brains and their bodies, and simply trying something new, than it is about hard and fast racing.

Teams can register at www.rakahuri-rage.nz but everything is left flexible to allow for team member changes, and last minute withdrawals if we have Covid in our community at that time.

“We do need teams to register so we have an idea of who is likely to be racing, but we’re conscious that anything can happen between now and race day so we want to make it stress free for teams to make changes or pull out of the event at any time if their situation changes.” Find out more about the NCSRT Amazing Race at www.rakahuri-rage.nz. The event is open to teams of 2-4, with members as young as 9-years-old able to race with adults on the short course.

It will cost $25 per team member for the short course event, and $40 per team member for the long course. All proceeds from the Adventure Race will go towards supporting the MainPower WaiSwim Primary School Swimming programme which is administered by the NCSRT, and provides swimming and water safety lessons to thousands of North Canterbury children each year.