Guides Nick and Elder Take on the Motatapu Race

For those of you lucky enough to have been guided on an Active Adventures trip by Nick or Elder (or both if you were extra lucky!), you’ll be aware that they’re a couple of blokes who can’t get enough of the great outdoors. When they’re not guiding for us in New Zealand, they can be found leading guests on hiking trails in our other destinations – Nick in Europe, and Elder in Nepal. If you’re not familiar with these particular Active Adventures guides, check out the picture below:

Elder Nick lupins
Elder (left) and Nick appreciating the beautiful lupins during a ‘Weka’ trip

Nick and Elder often guide our New Zealand Biking Adventure ‘Weka’ trips together, and so are really good friends who are used to pushing each other to work hard when they’re out riding. 2018 is proving no different for these two so far, and they’ve decided they want to take on the challenge of one of New Zealand’s most popular races, the 47km Motatapu Mountain Bike Race.

Nick and Elder love their bikes so much, that they’ll be competing in the Motatapu midway through a 2-week ‘Weka’ trip as the race falls perfectly on the day the group will spend exploring Queenstown, close to where the race will finish. We managed, somehow, to catch up with Nick and Elder and quiz them on their decision to race in the Motatapu, their training, and if they’re in it to win it.

Q: Have you competed in this race before? What’s the terrain going to be like?

Nick: “This is the sixth time for me. There’s plenty of up and plenty of rivers!”

Elder: “It’s my second time, I love it. The terrain starts with a 15km road section, then it’s onto the single track, lots of ups, but some downs too!”

Q: Are you guys really competitive? Will you be racing to win or just out there to enjoy yourselves?

Nick: “I think everyone wants to win. But it will be a great team challenge. We’re always finding ways to compete with each other, especially on bikes! Ultimately we’ll be competing as a team, and we’re not allowed to be more than 2 minutes apart at any time during the race, so I’d say we’ll be pushing each other pretty hard!”

Elder: “Sure. I want to win. Sorry we want to win! Haha. I’d say I’m competitive but not obsessed.”

Q: Any secrets you’re willing to share with us about training, preparation, or staying fuelled during the race?

Nick: “Peanut butter is key. Haha! Seriously though, it is. There’ll definitely be a Fergburger or two involved in my pre and post race meals too.”

Elder: “I try and eat something every 6km or so. And before the race I’ll be loading up on carbs and making sure I eat a good breakfast.”

Q: Have you done much training? I guess the ‘Weka’ trips you’ve been guiding are enough….?

Nick: “You can always do more training but yeah the Weka trips have helped me keep a steady fitness.”

Elder: “I have been doing lots of running (I’m also running the Everest Marathon in May!) so I’ve been training for that, and of course some biking too. The Weka trips have been really helpful for endurance for biking, it’s a different kind of strength than marathon running.”

The Macpac Motatapu Race is taking place on Saturday the 10th of March, and we’ll make sure that the guys have a team of fans waiting at the finish line in Arrowtown with a cold beer for them! Whilst the boys aren’t riding the race for charity, if they do manage to win any money they intend to donate it to the Queenstown Trails Trust, a charity committed to developing a network of public trails around the Wakatipu Basin. Elder will be running the Everest Marathon in May this year, so watch this space for more details on that, and how you can donate to his chosen charity, Active Hearts Himalayas.

Other useful info:

  • New Zealand Biking Adventure ‘Weka’ trip
  • Best Adventure Activities in New Zealand