It was all blood, sweat and appreciation for the legends of multisport when former All Blacks captain Richie McCaw finished the 33km mountain running section of the Coast to Coast today.
McCaw was all bloodied and bruised after taking a tumble coming down off Goat Pass and later received stitches for his trouble.
With little time to prepare, having only decided to enter last Monday, McCaw still gave witness to a high fitness level and rugged determination that had him capped 148 times for the All Blacks, 111 as captain. He completed the course in 4hr 20min 1sec and placed 11th in the open men's category.
"It was tough," he said at the finish, one of his legs bleeding with a nasty open wound.
"Everyone says that the hardest part is coming down the river to the finish, but it never gets there. I'm just pleased to be here I must say."
McCaw added that it was an event that he had been meaning to do for a long time.
As for doing the whole course at some stage McCaw was quick to quip: "Well, sitting here now I couldn't think of anything worse than hoping on a bike.
"I suppose if you train a bit harder for it you'd do it. I can see it's a bug, isn't it?
"Maybe one day you never know."
Wife Gemma McCaw began the run with Richie's sister Joanna, who competed in the event eight years ago.
Gemma, as with husband Richie, was full of praise for those who run the course in multisport competition.
Her and Richie, although they run, are only used to "short stuff".
"We don't usually do anything over 10km," she said at the finish.
"It's a very technical run in terms of tree roots, big boulders you have to climb over. It was exciting and it was fun.''
Gemma finished the mountain run placed fourth in the open women's section clocking 5hr 18min 40sec. Sister-in-law Jo Spencer-Bower suffered a little over the closing stages and finished sixth in the open woman in 5hr 20min 40sec.