When 90 guts had been busted, Lucy Conway was just happy that the people they belonged to had crossed the finish line safely.

Besides a participant who received a large graze within year one or two of the Raetihi Gutbuster, everybody has come back safe in her time organising the event.

Together with her husband Mike, the Conways have been organising the Raetihi Promotions event for nine years and 2019 marked the end of an era.

Sunday's event was their last as they are moving to Foxton.

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Jorinda and Sam Alderton from Hamilton enjoyed participating in one of the Gutbuster's three cycling options.
Jorinda and Sam Alderton from Hamilton enjoyed participating in one of the Gutbuster's three cycling options.

"I love Raetihi, but I needed a full-time job really," Conway says.

"We tried to run an accommodation business and get by on part-time jobs. We did it for 12 years and loved it."

90 people showed up for the Gutbuster, an event which features a range of cycling and running events along the scenic Raetihi-Pipiriki road.

The weather stayed fine for the participants who were treated to spot prizes including containers of local honey and vouchers for local restaurants and other businesses.

Conway said organising the annual event had its challenges.

For the final time as event organiser, Lucy Conway prepares a water station to keep participants hydrated.
For the final time as event organiser, Lucy Conway prepares a water station to keep participants hydrated.

"There needs to be a start line, a finish line, water stations, a table for prizes, prizes and cable ties for numbers. You have to think of every single thing that you need.

"You get into a routine after a few years, but there are lots of little things to remember like putting posters up."

During the event Mike would act as emcee, announcing the safety briefing, counting the entrants down and sending them on their way.

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Lucy was in charge of directing competitors and traffic, as the road is closed throughout.

She said it was nice to hear people saying that she and Mike will be missed when they leave.

Ohakune's Julie Hartley and Lee Artz took time out during the 18 kilometre fun run for a high five.
Ohakune's Julie Hartley and Lee Artz took time out during the 18 kilometre fun run for a high five.

"A lot of events get grizzles from people on social media, but we just get a lot of people telling us the Gutbuster was great," Conway says.

"That's really gratifying and has probably been the highlight every year."

This time around on the event's Facebook page, people were not just talking about the event, but the couple behind it.

Friend of the family Julia Milsom said "fantastic event and so much hard work from these two awesome people. Thanks for all the fun, love you long time".

Raylee Price said "loved it as a first timer, hope someone else continues the awesome work from Lucy and Mike".

Jacob MacAdams finds top gear fast and pedals away to an early lead in the 2019 Raetihi Gutbuster.
Jacob MacAdams finds top gear fast and pedals away to an early lead in the 2019 Raetihi Gutbuster.

Conway previously lived in Auckland for 15 years, which is where she met Mike who grew up there.

She has always had a fondness for the Central Plateau and was inspired to move to Raetihi after passing through several times during journeys.

Growing up in Porirua, Conway has a lot of family from Wellington and up the western coastline who she is looking forward to catching up with.

However, Foxton will have to be impressive to beat Raetihi for the Conways.

"The community here has been amazing. There's such a wide variety of people. You walk down the street and you know everyone, the people are so welcoming," Conway says.

"I'm really going to miss it."

The fun run follows the same path as the 18km bike ride and was the preferred option for Helen Boston from Taupō and Tanya Campbell from New Plymouth.
The fun run follows the same path as the 18km bike ride and was the preferred option for Helen Boston from Taupō and Tanya Campbell from New Plymouth.