Back Country Cuisine Alps2Ocean Ultra Newsletter May 2017


Welcome to the May edition where we discuss items of interest. The newsletter is the long winded chance to answer questions you have been raising.  

We have just completed the last segment of the trail through private farmland, and we are in for a treat folks!


1.       Placemakers Prize giving meal

a.       Placemakers Oamaru has generously sponsored the prize giving meal on Saturday evening 3rd March, a big thanks to Geoff and the team at Placemakers.  

b.       If you would like extra tickets for family/friends they are available at a cost of $75.00. The dinner venue is beside the finish line; hopefully we are all finished by approximately 1pm. This will allow plenty of time to freshen up in your hotels before squeezing into your dancing shoes for the evening’s prize giving dinner and dance!  

c.       Please email your extra tickets requests to


2.       Bus Tickets

a.       You can book your seats on the buses below via

b.       Tuesday February 20th 2pm – Christchurch Airport to Oamaru (Limited to 45 seats)

c.       Wednesday February 21st 2pm – Christchurch Airport to Oamaru (Limited to 45 seats)

d.       Return bus from Oamaru to Christchurch Airport. Sunday 4rd March departs Oamaru approx. 9:00am arriving Christchurch airport approx. 12:30 – 1pm (Limited to 45 seats)


3.       Precision Hydration – Official Hydration Partner to the Back Country Cuisine Alps2Ocean Ultra.

a.       Sweatsalt (capsules) will be available at selected checkpoints

b.       The Sweatsalts will be supplementary to your own rehydration and electrolyte products. Please prepare and take your own rehydration plan into the race, A2O Ultra are providing SweatSalt capsules in smaller numbers to supplement your own plans as a safety back up.

c.       Precision Hydration also have a stand at the MDS show in London (is the show still running?), go onto their website “for a squizz” and take the sweat test. Everyone sweats at different levels and rates, find the level you sweat at, and the best product for your sweat rates. I did the physical test several years ago and now have a rock solid hydration product/plan. This is why we went half way around the world (to London) in February to source Precision Hydration as our official hydration specialist, thanks Andy and the PH team.


4.       Sleeve Patches

a.       Participants will be required to wear at least short sleeves to enable them to wear the following sleeve patches on their t-shirt:

                                                               i.      Right sleeve: Race patch. Size is 50mm (2 inches)  High x 90mm (3.5 inches) Wide

                                                             ii.      Left sleeve: Participant's country flag patch

b.       The Race patches will be provided to participants upon arrival.

c.       Participants are responsible for obtaining their own country flag patch


5.       Registration - Why we want you in Oamaru from Wednesday, and you need to be there by Thursday at the very latest.

a.       Registration is on Friday morning from 9am

b.       Gear Checks – Safety and mandatory gear.

c.       Food/calorie counts

d.       Weighing of gear (Max 14kg)

e.       All gear to have your race number written on it – are Sharpie pens international?

f.        To have time to fix/repair/borrow/purchase anything you have overlooked or that was broken getting to New Zealand/Oamaru. Who hasn’t got a lost luggage story, and we want you to have time to “suss it”.


6.       Labelling of food bags

a.       Calorie counting - we will need your calorie count for each days food to be written clearly on the outside of the daily bag.

b.       Each day’s food packaged in a separate bag (zip lock plastic bag or similar is a suggestion). Breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks each put into a daily bag.

c.       On the 86km stage Supported runners will need to take 2x days of food allocations, plus the extra safety gear required on this stage which you may not have to carry on the shorter stages (weather dependant). This includes the down jacket, seam sealed shell jacket, head-lights, a red flashing tail light, thermal top and long pants are all included as mandatory gear for this stage. . Please factor this into your decision when choosing your running pack size capacity.

7.       Photo Package

a.       We have just aligned with a quality photographer and her team of 3x support staff. They will capture stills, videos, drone footage, and interviews which will be bundled into a digital package for all to purchase. We have great locations that capture the beauty of the event, and you racing in New Zealand’s pristine environment. 

b.       The cost of the photography package is NZ$199 (approximately AUD$185; UK£105; US$135; EU€125)

c.       We will set up a booking system for this later in the year. The photographers will be with us from the registration on Friday to the end of the Prize giving meal on Saturday 3rd March, covering the whole event.


8.       Final Payment Date – 1st October 2017

a.       Please note this has been brought forward from 30th October. The reasoning is many things are based off the final payments. It provides us with the final numbers of who will be on the start line. From that we will do the race numbering, then the printing and other things that need to be completed early in October. NZ effectively shuts down in December/January with everyone going on a long Xmas bender (Party season) in December and then summer holidays in January.

b.       For the internationals, we have PayPal set up which will make the process a lot easier. Thanks for bearing with us on the Deposit, some of you had troubles (“a bloody mare”) with the international payments and we anticipate PayPal will make things “sweet as bro”.


9.       Rules around friends and family (FnF) supporting you during the event.

a.       Verbal encouragement only.

b.       Campsites

                                                               i.      We will maintain a clear zone within the camp sites. No food or drinks from any FnF will be permitted to be brought inside the camp sites. 

                                                             ii.      No food, drinks, clothing or items of support shall be introduced during the race, this includes first aid help, massages, blisters, chaffing repairs or products given to you. You need to cater and facilitate yourself.

                                                           iii.      We want your FnF to have access to you during the race. However, we also want you to integrate with the other runners, and in fairness to everyone we will make a meet zone that is clear of the camp. This will only be aloud on two occasions. This will be made known later.

                                                           iv.      It is likely the clear zone (competitors only in the camp site) will be from 1x hour of the daily cut off. This will ensure you all have time to rest, recover, and make those lifelong friendships that are created at these events.


c.       Don’t let your friends and family bring about a disqualification, please make them aware that this is a personal journey, and not to tempt you with any breaking of the event rules. The rules are there for your satisfaction, for you to complete the event in the same fair and responsible manner as your fellow runners.


10.   Meet the team – Linton Clarke


This is the first (and possibly final) edition of the people behind the race, and to be fair it was only because I managed to get my hands on this photo at a recent 12 hour mountain bike race in nearby Naseby.

Linton is our A2O Ultra Logistics and Safety (!!) manager, and a key member in supporting Mike to get the race off the ground.By day he is the Business Development Manager for a large contracting company, and more importantly is married to Deb with a couple of very energetic children. They have a lovely farm raising cows and sheep and somehow he still squeezes in plenty of hours a week on the bike.

Normally Linton is pretty quick on a bike, however during the race evidence showed he rode extremely well into a corner and very poorly out of it, wrecking an immaculate set of bike clothing, along with his shoulder, and shedding large portions of skin from his arm, hip, thigh, knee etc.

He maintained the competitive spirit to remount and continue his lap with a broken collarbone and lets call it constructive bleeding, so his teammates could power onto a 5th place finish, one tough cookie!


Thanks to Bevan Clarke for providing the Kiwi language skills. Anything in italics above you can translate using the below link:


Train well, Regards