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The Guinness Book of World Records holder for the fastest man to paddle a bathtub one hundred meters can’t wait to tackle the Waimakariri River on a stand up paddle board while competing in the Kathmandu Coast to Coast.
“On a recent SUP (stand up paddle board) trip to New Zealand I completed the length of the Clutha River over four days in the Wild Descent, so I was looking for my next challenge,” Tony Bain, a Kiwi who now lives in Wales where he runs an outdoor Adventure Company, said.
“So I turned my attention back to the Kathmandu Coast to Coast. I'm not out looking to be the fastest, I just want to complete the course; Oh and do it on a SUP.”
Bain started training for the Kathmandu Coast to Coast while living in Christchurch over twenty years ago but a rugby league injury sustained at a training session for a Canterbury Under 19 tour to Sydney saw him not able to run without a great deal of pain for four years.
“I had to turn my attention to other forms of exercise and in recent years have paddled across Scotland as a camping expedition over five days with mates, and again this year I did it as a race; 93 kilometres non-stop in just under 14 hours.”
Bain has also done the Tay descent held on Scotland’s longest river, a 38 kilometre grade two to four river, twice, first with another instructor and two novice river paddlers, and then last year he went back to race the course coming home first and taking 40 minutes off the previous fastest SUP time.
The mountain run rather than the river looms as Bain’s biggest challenge, as he has not done much running in 30 years, doing cycling and ‘lots and lots’ of SUP instead.
“I rode a single speed mountain bike as a guide in Wales for a few years so got pretty strong legs for cycling, but the running is a different story, but I can walk to the Cows come home. My longest training run before Christmas was eighteen kilometres, but I’ve been building up the miles since then so I think I’ll be fine.”
Training in Scotland during the northern hemisphere winter presented its fair share of challenges, with many of his sessions having to be done after work in very cold temperatures and often in the dark.
“I’ve been running and cycling in the North Wales mountains and on canal towpaths which are a great bumpy route on a mountain bike that really makes the legs drive. I'm hoping that when I get to a road bike I will fly.”
Bain, is confident he can do a good time down the Waimakariri River, well aware it will take him a lot longer that his World bath tubbing 100 metre record of one minute and 26 seconds. “Maybe I might try a bath tub down the river sometime in the future, but for now I’m really looking forward to doing it on a SUP.”
The Kathmandu Coast to Coast kicks off on the South Island’s West Coast with the two day event and mountain run on Friday the 10th of February with the Longest Day World Championship event being held on Saturday the 11th of February. Competitors finish in the Christchurch eastern seaside suburb of New Brighton.