The Contact Epic is about the challenge of circumnavigating the shores of Lake Hawea by mountain bike. Lake Hawea is located on the edge of Wanaka, right next to the Southern Alps in the South Island of New Zealand. The Epic ride is a 125 km journey of discovery about the land, about your bike and about yourself.
It is a once a year opportunity to be part of a race and a great day out riding through the Hunter Valley and Dingle Burn high country farming stations of Lake Hawea. This is only achieved through special permission from the land owners. The course is undulating and varied with river and stream crossings, lots of short climbs and long descents.
There is also the 95km Classic option on the same course and a shorter 35km Traverse race also starting at the Lake Hawea Dam and riding through local farming country and along the mighty Clutha and Hawea Rivers.
We will also be hosting NZ’s only single day 100 mile (160km) Centurion MTB race consisting of competitors having to ride all three courses.
The Contact Epic is the country’s longest and easily the most scenic race in NZ. However, this is more of an adventure than a race. Those that are super fit and want to race hard will be well tested over this terrain. Those who see this as a major personal challenge will be able to pace themselves and enjoy the history, scenery and wilderness of this remote area on their way to the finish line and a significant sense of satisfaction.
The distance is doable by anyone who applies themselves. Our oldest past competitor being 73 yrs and youngest being 16 yrs, so if you would like to able to say you are a finisher of NZ’s Ultimate MTB challenge and to test your self regardless of level of rider then this event is for you.
The course will not be littered with signage and support people, it will be left as untouched as possible to allow you to enjoy this environment in its natural state. With this comes some personal responsibility, which is a big part of the event ethos. We are taking the bubble-wrapping away and letting you take on this event knowing that you will need motivation, common sense and tenacity to get to the finish line. We call it old school or just staying in touch with the traditional kiwi value of self responsibility.
We believe that when good people are actively engaged in considering and planning their own adventure and safety, they will make the best decisions to suit their own circumstances and ability.
For the first year, 2020 will permit e-bikes in a noncompetitive category.
To that end there will be no official bike checks, no compulsory gear list, no cotton wool and no excuses, just you taking on this challenge on your own terms.
See you at the finish line. Entries close March 31 and this deadline is strictly adhered to .
What people are really saying about this race?
"A must do, well organised and fantastic." - Dougie Hall
"Awesome, interesting, rugged, challenging ,through beautiful country." - Steve Maluschnig
"Toughest day you have ever had, but one of the best – stunning scenery, excellent riding and a real feeling of achievement at the end." - Jonathan Gadd
"An adventure. The kind of day you never forget. Challenging and fun." - Paul Millet
"This is a Must Do Ride – Great Challenge that has something for everyone, from racing, doing a PB, to just completing. A very well organised event, lots of fun!" - Glenn Randle