Athletics: Challenge gets the green light

By Cameron Leslie

There's no going back now as the 2013 Cape Brett Challenge has been given the green light by its organiser.

Event organiser Jan Danilo, of Kerikeri, said now the event was secured it was time for more entrants to put their hands up for the challenge.

"We're full steam ahead," Danilo said. "Entries are close to 100 at the moment, [and] I'm after about 200."

Danilo said this year's edition of the Challenge, its seventh, could be an opportunity for a local company to become naming rights sponsors.

"[I'm] still going ahead but still looking to find a sponsor if anyone is interested. It's the glory of sponsoring events, that's why local sponsors are good.

"The thing is, we're not talking about mega bucks here. I've put some of my money in and Graeme [Brown, previous Cape Brett Challenge organiser] has, the direct costs aren't huge."

Already onboard are the Kerikeri Striders Multisports Club who are sponsoring the 10km run/walk event, with both the 17km run/walk and the main event, the 37km Ultra Run, still available.

Danilo said he decided to bring back the Cape Brett Challenge - a 37km endurance event over bush tracks and rugged hills which takes in the iconic Cape Brett lighthouse - after an absence of two years following the current resurgence of interest in trail and off-road running, but admitted he did not expect to be the one to orchestrate it.

"I was out running with Graeme Brown, who is a former organiser of the event, and we were talking about how good it would be to see it literally up and running again," said Danilo.

"He [Brown] said, 'why don't you organise it?' and that's how a Pom in New Zealand found myself re-establishing arguably the toughest run in Northland."

Danilo noted the "old" Cape Brett Challenge took place on six occasions from 2005 and proved a popular drawcard, with 250-300 contestants taking part in the event annually.

The 2013 Challenge has been set to take place on Saturday, April 27 (over Anzac weekend).

Danilo said the best point of contact would be through capebrettchallenge@gmail.com, phoning 09 407 1551, or visiting www.capebrettchallenge.com.

- NORTHERN ADVOCATE

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