Three time Coast to Coast champion Richard Ussher is turning his back on Ironman triathlon in search of a fourth win in the 243km world multisport championship across the South Island next month.
Ussher - the Olympic skier who became a multisport and adventure racing world champion and then New Zealand's fastest-ever Ironman triathlete - has not raced the Coast to Coast's since 2008 when he defeated arch rival Gordon Walker.
Despite having not raced the Coast to Coast for three years, Ussher will start as the favourite.
Eight hundred entries from all over the world are expected on the start line for the 29th Speight's Coast to Coast.
For the first time the event's organiser and founder of multisport, Robin Judkins, will be among them as he teams up with nine-time winner Steve Gurney to take on his own event.