The organisers of the Emerson's Whaka 100 mountain bike marathon have confirmed that the Labour Weekend event will be postponed to January 29-30, 2022.
After the Government announcement on October 4 reviewing New Zealand's Covid-19 position, Nduro Events made the call to move the event to its back-up date as it can only take place at alert level 1.
Co-owner and race director Tim Farmer said: "We've been watching how this most recent outbreak has progressed and put our contingency plans into action.
"The safety of our participants is our priority. When we put our back-up dates in place when entries opened back in October 2020, we hadn't imagined we'd need them."
Farmer thanked all participants, event partners, volunteers and local stakeholders who had been gearing up for the biggest mountain bike event in the southern hemisphere.
"We were stoked to be hosting a record 3000 riders from across the country here in Rotorua for one of the toughest mountain bike marathons in the world.
"We've been updating our participants as we've gone through lockdown together on what was driving our decision-making. We appreciate this decision will be frustrating and disappointing to many - especially with the amount of training and preparation that goes into riding up to 160km of single track.
"The silver lining is this provides more preparation time as the weather improves. And as they say with training, 'it doesn't get any easier, but you do get faster'."
All participants' entries will automatically be moved to the January dates, no action is required. If participants are unable to make the new date, they can get an event credit for any other Nduro event up to, but not including, the Whaka 100, 2022.
"Our fingers are crossed that this gives enough time for borders to reopen, as we have more than 100 international participants, mostly from Australia, booked to take part. We know they're chomping at the bit to get into the Whakarewarewa Forest."
Farmer and the small team at Nduro Events are planning to deliver a memorable Whaka 100 in January.
"Our hope is that riders will be able to make our back-up date, and others who were not able to make the original October date, have a new opportunity to experience an epic mountain biking weekend."
Taking a page from the Tokyo Olympics, January's Whaka 100 will still be the 2021 event, with the 2022 event taking place once again on Labour Day weekend 2022.
All participants will be contacted by Nduro Events on the next steps. More information for participants and those looking to enter the new dates is available at whaka100.co.nz.