The Papatowai Challenge 25 February 2012 - 5th Mar 2012

The 16th Papatowai Challenge 2012:

On Saturday the 25th of February Julie and I went to the Catlins in the South of the South Island of New Zealand  for Julie and her friends Jo Stodart and Margaret Jones to compete in the Papatowai Challenge.
This is a 15.5km walk or run in the beautiful coastal surroundings of Papatowai, approximately two hours South of Dunedin..
This was the 16th Papatowai Challenge and was Julie's sixth and Jo's fifth time to tackle this event which is a pre-season fun run and walk from the holiday home of Bev and Wayne Allen in the Catlins and is held annually.

A varied bush beach and hill course:

It begins outside the holiday home at the south end of Tahakopa River Bridge,crosses the bridge over the Tahakopa river, leads through native bush before emerging onto the beach for a refreshing beach walk or run before climbing a steep track to winding unsealed roads over the tops of the hills through farmland . The road then descends through native bush with tantalizing glimpses of the sea, the beach, and the finish. A gritty three kilometers on the flat along the riverside finally takes the exhausted competitor full circle back to the holiday home in Papatowai. 

Finishers rewarded for their effort:

The finishers and spectators then tuck in to well deserved platefuls of pancakes smothered in jam and cream, and hot saveloys from the pot doused in tomato sauce. Wayne and his sponsors then give out spot prizes to competitors and awards to placegetters.
We were happy to learn that our friend Margaret was the second placed walker, and Jo won a spot prize
The event on Saturday was notable in that it poured with rain soon after the start but this did nothing to deter the more than 400 competitors who saw it through to the finish, and the rain stopped before the festivities.

Ron presents a framed print to organizer Wayne:

At the prizegiving at the end of the event, Race Organizer Wayne was proud to display a framed print of Papatowai bridge that had been painted by Ron on a previous Papatowai Challenge.

Ron finds painting a less exhausting pursuit:

I had not been idle while the runners and walkers were battling the elements, I had taken my paints and brushes and completed a watercolour of Papatowai Beach between showers, "draw a line a day" as my Dad used to say.
All this meant that we were unable to hear The Arty Farty Hour on Otago Access Radio at 11AM, so for any of you who went to Papatowai or were otherwise unable to hear the programme, here is the link.

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