CENTURION 100 miles of Epic (160km) – The timid need not apply
October 19th, 2016
This course is new for 2017, and is all three courses rolled into one. It involves competitors starting at 5:30am in the dark (front and rear light mandatory) and completing the Traverse course and then rolling on to do the Epic course. Due to the length of this challenge it is highly recommended that competitors can or have completed the Epic Course in under 7:00hrs. Cut offs for this will be 2:00hr to completed the Traverse Course (35km) to be off the course before the official Traverse riders start at 7:30am.
Riders will then continue up SH6 on the Epic course either in front of or behind the Epic starters depending on how long it takes to complete the Traverse course. The overall Contact Epic rule applies, that is, if you have not passed the Bluffs on the Dingle Burn Station before last light you will be withdrawn from the race.
The Epic course remains the flagstone event for prize money. Last Man Standing competitors may compete in the Centurion or Epic but if they fail to reach any of the cuts offs they will be withdrawn from the LMS competition accordingly.
However for the super-fit who want to be part of this inaugural race and join the new Centurion 100 mile club this is the race for you.
See below for Epic and Traverse course descriptions.
PRE RACE BRIEFING 2016 – Must Knows
April 14th, 2016
Welcome to Lake Hawea and the 9th annual Contact Epic. The LMS Events team congratulates you on getting this far, next is the easy bit, just hop on your bike on Saturday morning and keep pedaling until we say stop. We’ll even give you a medal for your efforts.
EPIC and CLASSIC
- The race starts at 7.00am. It’s a case of first up best dressed for start line positions. If you wish to be near the front you need to get there early. However, for everyone’s safety if you are not a serious contender please do not stack up at the front or ride in the middle of a bunch. For Epic riders, if you are not in the starting chute by 6.55am you will be held up on the dam itself and have to join the back of the pack as it leaves the start chute.
- Toilets are located at the Hawea Hotel or the portaloo near the start line for Epic riders. The Hawea Hotel will be open for coffee and breakfast from 5.00am. For parking in the morning follow the signs to the rear of the Hawea Hotel where on the top level there is a large paddock for parking. No parking please on the roads leading to the dam. Drivers, be aware of cyclists riding down-hill from the hotel to the start line in the dark. Bike lights are required during the hours of darkness.
- For the Classic, toilets are located in the Kidds Bush camping area or via the portaloo next to the start line. The start line is on the grass on the eastern end of the reserve. A reminder to supporters that dogs are not allowed at Kidds Bush. Also remember to leave straight after the start or stay (for 1.5 hrs) until the Epic riders have come past as this will reduce vehicles V cyclists on Mead Rd heading back to SH6.
- Parking, follow the marshals’ directions to parking areas. It will take approximately 45-55 mins from Wanaka to get to Kidds Bush. For those getting the shuttle bus to Kidds Bush, the pick up is from the front of the Hawea Hotel at 5.30 am and is independently organised through Alpine Coachlines 03 443 4665. There is no return trip to Kidds Bush after the race.
- The track is dry and boney in parts so picking a smooth line will pay dividends in terms of flats and broken running gear. The river crossing should be about knee high unless you pick the wrong line or we get unexpected rain in the head waters.
- If you are crossing the river, don’t just follow the herd. Our guys will mark the ideal entry and exit points. Spot your exit point down river before you start. Head off on a 45 degree angle as opposed to going straight across. Keep your bike above the water if possible, if not, keep it on the down river side of you. If you are not sure, ask for help. Remember the 1st Aid Station is just 2 km from the river crossing.
- Apart from the existing track hazards of: loose and exposed rock, narrow tracks, fast descents, steep exposure at the tracks edge at times and wandering stock etc there is a significant hazard about 6km north of the high point on the Hunter Valley side. There is a short, steep track of loose gravel leading into a right hand bend over a wooden bridge with no side rails and a 2 meter drop to the creek below. It’s easily negotiated in the normal course of riding but we will have a marshal on the road just prior to the descent to the bridge to remind you of this hazard as you approach.
- The Traverse 7:30am start is the same as the Epic start only you will be heading in the other direction. Come early to cheer on the Epic riders as they leave.
- For the Traverse riders, your biggest hazard will be crossing Camp Hill Rd at the 5km and again at the 30km mark. Marshals will manage that crossing point so please slow down and be prepared to stop if asked or if vehicles are on the road. On Course, there are black printed arrows → on signs to indicate any track / course deviation from the one you are on. See the COURSE page of the website for a detailed description and map.
- For the Traverse riders, the Hawea River Track remains open to the public so please show the appropriate courtesy and share the space if you see other track users.
- There are no road closures. Normal road rules apply to all roads and 4×4 tracks on all courses at all times. You may encounter a 4×4 vehicle coming towards you on the private Hunter, Dingle Burn or Hawea River 4×4 tracks. This will be in emergency cases only as they will be heading to an accident site, so always ride in control. However there are a few private vehicles on both sides of the valley as the Roar is on and they are there hunting, we cannot control their movements so keep focused and be aware.
- Note to Self, nothing upsets our land owners more than seeing piles of rubbish left behind by riders as they go about their business after the event. If we don’t have the land owners on board all we get to do is look at the Hunter and Dingle in photos instead of being able to ride around and enjoy it. So it doesn’t matter if you are coming first or last, your rubbish is your rubbish. Own it, love it, and keep it. Hand it in at the finish and you might win a $300 Rab –bish collector clothing voucher. If you are seen dropping rubbish you will be disqualified.
- The Contact Epic Riders 2016 Goal: Zero rubbish on course. Are you up for a challenge within a challenge? We hope so.
- Weather: (12:41pm 14 Apr ) Fine with thickening high cloud / Northerly developing. Over night 11° / 19°High / Sunrise 7:15am
- Again this year we will be using transponders so please attach them securely to your LEFT ankle and under your sock (and if you remember, at the finish, transponder ankle down when you cross the timing mats by the entrance to the hotel). If you lose this transponder please tell a race official and the finish line attendants as soon as you can. It would also pay to take note of the rider who finishes just ahead and behind.
- There are no planned route changes to the Epic, Classic or Traverse courses at the time of printing (Friday am).
- We do not accept transferred entries. For professional and medical reasons we need to know who is on the course and what medical conditions etc they may have in case of emergencies. If you withdraw from the race, PLEASE inform a marshal ASAP and do not cross the transponder mats if you are back in the garden bar with your transponder still on. Transponders are to be handed to the staff at the finish line please.
- Very Important Note. Keep left on all track and roads. Particularly so on the fast descents and do not change suddenly from one side of the 4×4 track to the other as faster cyclists trying to pass could end up in your spokes and both of you will, at best, end up in a heap on the ground. Be prepared for the passing cyclist to call out that they are coming through “on the right” and keep to your line. For this safety reason we do not recommend IPODs.
- The above point is particularly important for the slower Classic riders that will be caught and passed by the faster Epic riders. So keep left on the descents, ride in control at all times and indicate your intentions early.
- Bunch Riding can be dangerous: If you are not familiar with Bunch Riding please stay out of them. We tend to get one significant crash from the bunch riding on the road each year and we would really like none. This will mainly affect the Epic riders. Remember these rules: Be predictable with all actions, Avoid sudden braking and changes of direction or speed, Be smooth with turns at the front of the bunch, Always retire to the back of the bunch, Pedal downhill, Point out obstacles, Don’t overlap wheels, Do not panic if you brush shoulders, hands or bars with another rider, Look ahead, Obey the road rules.
- Remember to take your gold coin (paper is lighter) donation for the tea and scones at the Dingle Burn Café (Epic/Classic only).
- Some of our spot prizes will be handed out at registration with the major spot prizes and the new BMC hard tail MTB being given away at the prize giving itself.
- You will receive a Contact Epic Vehicle sticker at registration, please place this on your car for two chances to be first at prize giving to pick from our top selection of spot prizes on our models. Traverse prize giving, 11 am / Epic and Classic 5.30pm approx.
- If you want your bike cleaned after the race for $5, we have a couple of young fellas who are raising money for a school trip at the finish line who will do a good job for you. So by the time you have had your 2nd beer the bike should be looking like new again. This means you can put it straight in the garage and not think about it again for a few weeks without feeling too guilty.
- Most importantly be safe out there. Focus on the journey, not the destination. If an opportunity arises to help someone out with a break down or at crash then take it. Karma will pay you back in spades in due course. Record your time lost and we will credit it back to you. If the weather turns nasty welcome the opportunity to test your positive mental attitude. Given your good planning and preparedness you will already know it’s coming.
- If you are unsure about whether you will need lights, take them just in case. It will be dark just after 6.30pm. If you are not past the Dingle Bluffs by last light you will be withdrawn from the race. If you are still on the Traverse course at this time you should be calling for help!!
NOT ALL MOUNTAIN BIKERS ARE CREATED EQUAL.
The Contact Epic is a way of celebrating this.
2016 Race Entries
April 6th, 2016
633 Hardy soles have said, “I’m up for this race.”
356 in the Epic, 204 in the Classic and 74 in the Traverse. Remember that no one has ever done enough training so do not fret.
We are looking forward to hosting you again for our 9th year. You bring the good weather and we’ll supply the most scenic and challenging single day bike race in the country.
What you do need to avoid is breaking any of your important parts before the race starts. Getting to the start line fresh is now the focus along with a bit of speed work on the way.
If, however, for some reason you can’t make it please let us know as soon as possible, thanks.
This race is about support and encrougement for those that are pushing their envelopes. We are also about values and a rubbish-free course is important to us, the landowners and a lot of our riders. So Rab is giving away a $300 clothing voucherto the person who comes over the finish line with the most rubbish from the Course. It’s the Rab-bish Collector Challenge.
Registration is complusory for everyone on Friday night. You cannot register on the morning of the race.
Carbo loading meal? want to join us for a Pasta meal on Friday night when you register? Meals are available for only $19 by clicking Here.
We have a new nurtition and hydration suppliers, Clif bars andgels along with nuun hydration. Check the website out here under Aid Stations if you need any further info on this.
Haven’t booked accommodation yet? Then take advantage of the Epic specials at the Oakridge Resort with great room options and the best hot pools in town.
There is still the odd bed left at the Lake Hawea Hotel.
Newsletter final –2015
April 16th, 2015
Contact Epic competitors goal 2015: Zero Rubbish on course – hard core mountain biking is about carrying everything in and everything out.
Tea and scones:
Will again be on offer at the Dingleburn Station in exchange for a donation to the Pony Club. Remember paper is lighter than metal 🙂
Change of Course:
We need to check off each rider at the river crossing. For this reason there will be a short channel taped off for you to ride through. Please oblige with this. It can save us a lot of work and angst at the other end of the day.
For those of you who have ridden the track before, unless the rivers rise, we will not be riding over the Dingle Bridge but will be going below and crossing the Dingle Burn River.
If you need to withdraw at any stage please let us know. ESPECIALLY if you have registered.
Registration is compulsory. Please bring a copy of your confirmation and get your transponder checked at the timing station to confirm you are entered correctly. Your race briefing will be in written form and will be handed to you at registration. Please be sure to read that night!
Carbo Loading Pasta Meals:
There will be a limited number available at registration for $25 per head.
It is the weather in the mountains that is most likely to affect the course. I sure you have all been watching the cold front sneaking up the West Coast on Friday. As you know, it’s more about what’s happening in the head waters of the Hunter Valley of Friday than on the course on Saturday. Our safety officer will be constantly observing the river levels on Friday and our final decision on the course will be made at 2pm on Friday just before registration.
Keep your radio tuned to Radio Wanaka (92.2) and keep an eye on FB. We will let you know any necessary changes as soon as it is possible.
At this stage it’s looking like we will attempt the full circumnavigation. So you need to consider the contingencies:
• If we go with the circumnavigation and the river is still too high in the morning then riders may have to turn around at the Hunter River and ride back to Hawea along the Hunter and the main road.
• If there is too much rain on Friday and we have to do the alternative course then the Classic and Epic riders will start on the dam and ride the Dingle Burn side up and back.
The good news is that the weather won’t effect the Traverse Riders ;-).
Pre Race Newsletter April 6, 2015
April 12th, 2015
Congratulations on making entry into NZ’s Ultimate MTB Challenge! In less than two weeks you will be on the startline with 700 others.
Remember there is no return transportation. A bus is available through Aspiring Coachlines. Contact details are Phone 064 3 443-4665
Please book before the end of the business day, April 17.
Cycle jerseys and tees are available from the online store. We have a limited number so don’t miss out. It is the most subtle way you can let your fellow riders know you have completed NZ’s Ultimate mountain biking challenge!
Prerace Pasta Meal
Tickets are still available for this. Again, purchase from the store. Look out at your future challenge while enjoying the Hawea Hotel’s hospitality.
Our gold sponsor Oakridge, have put on a brilliant deal for competitors this year. This includes the use of the spa pools and large heated pool so just perfect for post-race recovery!
There are also a limited number of rooms available at the Hawea Hotel.
is COMPULSORY and from 3pm until 8.30pm. It is VITAL that you get your timer checked at registration. You are required to bring your confirmation email.
You can move down a category between now and the race, but not up. Please email your details if you wish to do so.
If you need to withdraw for any reason please just flick a quick email. It makes logistics a lot smoother when we know your intentions. Thanks.
Yes, we are now down to what looks like 22 riders in contention for the kitty. Below are the list of LMS contenders. Please email us if we have omitted or incorrectly included anyone.
Looking for something to do on the day while cyclists are hard at work?
Fire Sale and Market Day on the Green beside Sailz Lake Hawea 10 -2 on 18th April, Epic Race Day. Stall holders welcome. $20 each. All proceeds to the Fire Squad.
Holy Family House Tour of Wanaka homes. Held on April 18. All proceeds to the Hospice and school. Tickets for sale at the race registration for $40.
Win this new Trek EX 5 29er
March 24th, 2015
Trek are again sponsoring this event and giving you a chance to win this brand new Trek EX5 29er. Just be at the prize giving after the race on Saturday the 18th and you may be taking it home.
December 19th, 2014
Friday 17 October 2014
Contact announces new Hawea community fund, and extends Contact Epic funding
Contact and LMS Events have teamed up for another three years to run the much-loved Contact Epic, NZ’s Ultimate Mountain Bike Challenge, and have added some extra love to the partnership by establishing a new joint fund to support the local Hawea community.
$5 from every entry to the Contact Epic challenge will now be donated by LMS Events to a community fund. Contact will match that contribution dollar for dollar up to 1000 entries, or $5,000 per year.
“Contact has been a principal partner to the Lake Hawea Epic for the last seven years, and we’re proud to be able to take them through to their 10th year,” said Nicholas Robinson, Contact’s General Manager, Corporate Affairs.
“The Contact Epic track wraps around Lake Hawea which is an important part of our hydro business, so we see our investment into this event as integral to being a good neighbour, and as part of our long-term commitment to Hawea.”
“The community have told us how important Contact Epic is in supporting local business, in raising the profile of the town, and in engaging the community in a national event. We really wanted to expand our partnership this time around so together with Contact Epic’s event director, we’ve come up with a new idea – to establish a community fund for the locals.”
“We’re really excited and looking forward to engaging with the local community about how they want the money allocated to return the best outcomes for Hawea,” said Mr. Robinson.
Contact Epic Event Director Danielle Nicholson said “the Contact Epic provides a once a year opportunity to race the surrounds of Lake Hawea. It’s an iconic event that attracts people from all over the country.”
“We are thrilled to have Contact partner this event for a further 3 years. They have been with us from the inception, and will now see us into the ten year mark, an amazing milestone. We are also excited to be partners with Contact in the new Hawea community fund which is just another way in which the event can give back to the locals.” said Mrs Nicholson.
Contact Epic will take place 18 April 2015. To register or for more information go to www.lakehaweaepic.co.nz
About the event:
The Contact Epic is a 125 km journey of discovery circumnavigating the shores of Lake Hawea which is located on the edge of Wanaka, right next to the Southern Alps in the South Island of New Zealand. The course is undulating and varied with river and stream crossings, lots of short climbs and long descents. There is also the 95km Classic option on the same course and, new in 2013, a shorter 35km Traverse race also starting at the Lake Hawea Dam and riding through local farming country and along the mighty Clutha and Hawea Rivers.
For more information and to register for the 18 April 2015 event go to www.lakehaweaepic.co.nz
Contact is one of New Zealand’s largest electricity generators and retailers. We keep the lights burning, the hot water flowing and the BBQ fired up for around 567,500 customer across the country. Powering the country with electricity, natural gas and LPG, our team of around 1,050 lives, works and operates in communities throughout New Zealand. www.contact.co.nz
Senior Communications Advisor
022 522 7827
Epic Event Director
Note: High-resolution images of past Contact Epic events can be requested from Danielle Nicholson