26 Dec 2008

Coast to coast entries nearly full

10:34 am on 26 December 2008

Almost 800 people from 19 countries have entered next year's Coast to Coast although the director Robin Judkins says many of the elite athletes have yet to confirm their entries.

Judkins says the entries for the 27th race from Kumara Beach on the West Coast to Sumner in Christchurch come from as far afield as North and South America, Europe, Australia, South Africa, Japan, Nepal and Papua New Guinea.

He says the February 13-14 race has been dubbed "The Year of the Woman" and it's fitting some of the top contenders for the One Day world title race are internationals.

The defending champion Emily Miazga is a Canadian based on the South Island's West Coast and her biggest biggest challenge could come from Finland's Elina Ussher.

The former Finnish orienteering representative lives in Nelson and her husband, the three-time Coast to Coast champion Richard Ussher, is foregoing the defence of his title to concentrate on helping his wife to win a world title of her own.