If you have been to a mountain biking event in Rotorua there is a good chance you have seen Tim Farmer relaying instructions via walkie talkie and congratulating riders as they cross the finish line.

But that is just the start of it. What you do not see is him and wife Belinda collating hundreds of entries, clearing trails and putting up signage late at night and in the early hours of the morning. They are also integral members of the organising teams for running events such as the Tarawera trail and ultra marathons.

Perhaps what best summed up Farmer's attitude towards mountain biking events was during the Whaka 100 when the Nduro Events New Zealand event operations manager was equally delighted for first time winner Edwin Crossling, who had been trying to win the event for years, and the last rider to finish before the 11-hour cut-off time Alex Disher who conquered some personal demons.

"There's a massive community of people who mountain bike or know someone who mountain bikes and that's where we've been really fortunate with our events. We now know people all over the world, which is pretty unique.

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"I used to travel to Rotorua, when I was working with the police in South Auckland, every day off when I was training. I used to be able to just come down here and ride, you can be out in the middle of nowhere and just hear nothing. You're out there with the nature and that side of it is cool," Farmer said.

Organising mountain biking events takes a lot of work behind the scenes. Photo / Supplied
Organising mountain biking events takes a lot of work behind the scenes. Photo / Supplied

During this interview, Farmer was approached by a tourist who was having trouble deciphering her map of the forest. She came to the right place - this man knows the trails like the back of his hand.

Formerly of Tauranga, Tim and Belinda moved to Rotorua in 2013, "specifically for mountain biking".

In 2017 they were involved in organising seven Crankworx events, one of which was the Enduro World Series, three Summer Cup races, the Rotorua8 eight-hour event, National Secondary Schools cross-country, the Winter MTB Series, Craters Classic in Taupo and the Whaka 100.

"My wife and I used to be participants and I was racing in the 24-hour World Championships in Australia and I thought 'we need events like this in New Zealand'. It's the whole atmosphere side of things, the craziness of it all. I was in the police then, but when we got back we got a phone call asking if we were interested in the events business.

All the hard work is worth it for Tim Farmer when he sees riders cross the finish line. Photo / Supplied
All the hard work is worth it for Tim Farmer when he sees riders cross the finish line. Photo / Supplied

"One of the things we always say about Rotorua is the trails will always be here, but the experience won't be, so we're trying to create that experience for people. Nduro Events started in 2002 and we're effectively the third owners. It grew 400 per cent after our first year.

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"I think we think like participants, because we have a background in doing them. We definitely think about what it's like to be a participant rather than a business point of view."

He said there was a misconception that holding events in the forests was bad for the local environment.

"We're all here for the love of the sport and we put a lot back into it. We've adopted three and a half trails in the forest that we look after, people think events ruin the place but we spend a lot of time keeping the trails clean and tidy."