Top marks for patience go to Hawke's Bay multisporter Thomas Christison.

After finishing fourth in the open men's section of the two-day version of the South Island's Kathmandu Coast to Coast at the weekend with a time of 13hrs 2m 34s Christison, 18, could have been excused if he pondered moving up to the one-day version next year.

But the son of 2004 Coast to Coast winner, George Christison, wants to complete a problem-free two-day version of the 243km event, which begins at Kumara Beach and finishes at Brighton Beach in Christchurch, first.

He felt he was let down by cramping.


"I cramped up at the start of the mountain run on Friday and on Saturday I experienced stomach cramps during the kayaking leg," Christison explained.

"Other than that I was pretty stoked. It was a good couple of days and more or less what I expected."

The 18-year-old first-year apprentice with Peter Maulder Builders said he enjoyed the environment and scenery.

"Combine that with all the competitors and it was an awesome event."

"Dad was pretty proud and while I'm a bit sore it was good to come out of it without any injuries," Christison added as he travelled home on Sunday.

On Friday Christison completed a 2.2km run, 55km cycle and 30.5km mountain run. On Saturday he ticked off a 15.5km cycle, 1km run, 70km kayak, 400m run and 69.5km cycle.

One of Christison's regular training partners, Grant Morrish, was fourth in his 50-59 years age group and 44th overall in the two-day individual event with a time of 14:58.06.

"It was my first time in the race as a competitor after crewing three times before. A bit of peer pressure got me to enter and I was pretty chuffed to get under my goal of 15 hours," Morrish explained as he recovered with a feed of fish and chips and bottle of Chardonnay on Sunday.


The general manager for Grochem in Hawke's Bay pointed out he was only 15 minutes off third place in his age group and 30 minutes off first.

"I'll definitely be back next year for the one-dayer. There are only so many summers left for this sort of thing when you get to my age," Morrish joked.

Hawke's Bay Orienteering Club member Scott McDonald did well to finish ninth in the elite one-day category with a time of 12hrs33m36s.

"While I didn't break the 12 hour mark, which I was hoping to do, I was super pleased with a top 10 finish which I quietly hoped for as a first timer at Coast to Coast," McDonald said.

He pointed out plenty of training with the Ramblers Cycling Club during the past three years and a couple of weeks training on the course prior to the event paid off.

McDonald started kayaking only 12 months ago and he knows more work is required in the boat if he is to improve in the future.

Former Hawke's Bay orienteer Sam Eames and his girlfriend Abby Nattrass were second in the two-day mixed tandem section with a time of 14:33.42.

Hawke's Bay Olympian Anne Cairns, combined with her brother Craig Cairns and their 73-year-old father Lawrie Cairns, to finish fifth in the family team section and 29th in the mixed team category with a time of 18:54.50.

Dougal Allan and Simone Maier were the respective men's and women's longest day title winners in what was a close race in both fields.

After finishing second in three previous efforts, Allan finally broke his duck to cross the finish line in 11:15.00.

In a field that didn't include any previous winners, the men's title was always going to be tough to call - and it turned out to be one of the closest races in recent memory.

The Wanaka-based athlete fended off a stern challenge from runner-up Sam Manson of Christchurch (11:30.04) and Australian Alex Hunt (11:39.34) who finished in third, with the three competitors battling within minutes of each other halfway through the kayaking stage.

It was always going to come down to where Allan, one of the strongest cyclists in the field, would end up coming out of the water.

And when he came out of the kayaking stage in front, he made no mistake in the cycle to Christchurch and stormed home to take his first win.

"It's been six years since my last shot at it. I was probably guilty of fearing failure in a way. I sort of just had to get over myself and I thought the success in these sorts of things is having a crack.

"It's really a career highlight. This race, it means a lot to me and I've been trying to win it for the best part of a decade."

The women's race was equally eventful, with Christchurch-based Maier also becoming a first-time winner, beating four-time champ Elina Ussher of Nelson (13:07.10) and Ireland's Fiona Dowling (13:09.17) who finished second and third respectively.

Maier was nearly speechless after crossing the finish line in 12:58.36, finally taking the championship in her third attempt at the competition.

"I don't know [how I feel]. I need to give it some time," she said. "I put a lot of time and effort into this event and I know it's going to be hard, and I guess there was a lot of expectation on me - a lot of pressure on myself."

However, it didn't go smoothly for Maier, who crashed her bike into a van before the kayaking stage and was then given a two-minute penalty for an incorrect transition.