2018 Tranz NZ Enduro five day MTB adventure

Follow along with Nate Hills as he competes in this epic race

Enduro Race Coverage Video
Fraser Wilkinson

Fraser Wilkinson dropping into epic scenery. Fraser took 8th overall last year. Photo by Matt Wood

By now most readers are familiar with the Enduro World Series, but there are quite a few other great races that attract riders from around the world. The Trans New Zealand Enduro is one of those.

The Trans NZ Enduro is a 5 day all-inclusive enduro event that takes riders over some of the best trails on the South Island. It takes riders on a challenging adventure of all styles of trails from Craigieburn in the Canterbury region to the famous Queenstown trails and a few stops in between of seeing how far you can push your limits.

Stage 2

High up on stage 2, racers charged down a long rough alpine track comprised of rock and iconic tussock grass that eventually dove into high forest. The forest offered high drifter-type berms that made sliding sideways a mandatory experience. Photo by Trans NZ Enduro

Throughout the 5-day race, racers traverse native beach forest, alpine zone riding, roots, high speed flow, loose steeps, and chunky rock. The race coordination team, led by Megan Rose, selected a unique mix of trails that provide the challenge and fun that racers desire but also the diversity of terrain and views that exhibit all that New Zealand has to offer.

This year’s race took place February 25-March 1. Racers would forego the use of shuttles or lifts and were subjected to a true suffer fest with over 1500m (4900ft) of climbing each day and over 2,000m (6,500ft) of descending each day, totaling over 12,000m (39,000ft) of descending over the course of 5 days. Racers covered approximately 30kms (18 miles) with about 4-6hrs out on course each day.

Heckler's Rock

The crowd looks on from Alexandra’s own “Heckler’s Rock” In order to get an idea of the pace of things toward the top of the heap. Day 4, Stage 1. Photo by Trans NZ Enduro

Enduro events are designed to promote the exploration of new trails around the world that challenge all levels of riders from beginner to pro. With only the downhill segments of a race being timed, racers can take their time riding up to the next timed section while recovering. It’s during this time that racers get a chance to enjoy the scenery and socialize with other riders. That’s what makes events like these so popular. One minute you’re “in the zone” navigating a challenging UCI Downhill worthy course with your heart racing, your lungs ready to explode and legs that feel like molten lead and the next minute you’re chatting with your friends while riding up some of the most beautiful trails in the world at a leisurely pace laughing about mistakes made and making plans to come back and ride for fun.

Crank up the display quality to 4K, turn up the volume and sit back, relax and enjoy the kind of riding we all wish we were doing right now. Thanks to Nate Hills and Nate Corrigan for taking us along for the ride and to Nate Hills on this 9th place finish in Open Men!

Riding footage from Nate Corrigan and Nate Hills

Trans NZ Enduro Day 1.

Trans NZ Enduro Day 2.

Trans NZ Enduro Day 3.

Trans NZ Enduro Day 4 .

Trans NZ Enduro Day 5.

Race Results Open Men
  1. Jerome Clementz
  2. Jonas Meier
  3. Brady Stone
  4. Paul van der Ploeg
  5. James Hall
Race Results Open Women
  1. Emily Slaco
  2. Renee Wilson
  3. Harriet Beaven
  4. Alice Hawkins
  5. Sarah Rawley

For the entire list of class and stage results click HERE. Follow Trans NZ Enduro on Instagram and Facebook for race updates and next year’s race registration announcement.

About the author: Justin Wages

As a stage 4 colon cancer survivor, Justin Wages got into the cycling world in an effort to increase his endurance after losing his left lung. As a California native and growing up with a skateboard and snowboard beneath his feet it wasn’t long before the thrill of mountain biking gripped him. Justin’s day job as a Land & Recreation Manager helps him understand the balance between conservation and trail use. He also works with his fiancé, Jeni, to bring more women into the mountain bike world with certified skills clinics and education. “My goal is to get more people on trails for health and enjoyment,” he says. “I want to help them overcome their mental or physical limitations and be the best person they can be, while expanding their appreciation for our natural world.”

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