Among the thousands of kayaks heading down the Waimakariri River in Kathmandu Coast to Coast, there will be a man on a stand up paddle board.
Tony Bain, an expat-Cantabrian who now lives in Wales is the Guinness Book of World Records holder for the fastest man to paddle a bathtub.
The Coast to Coast will be his latest challenge after he recently paddle boarded the length of the Clutha River over four days.
“I’m not out looking to be the fastest, I just want to complete the course and and do it on a paddle board,” said Bain.
He 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.”
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 paddle boarding instead.
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.
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 100m record of one minute and 26 seconds.
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.