NZ – RRT Thames support the off-road marathon Surf2Firth March 2016

Described as the most technically challenging off road marathon in New Zealand, the annual Surf2Firth event once again showcased the commendable physical endurance of approx. 180 volunteers.

Translated, it is literally from the region of the surf on the east of the Coromandel, to the Firth of Thames on the west of the peninsula.

To quote a participant of a prior year “The local organisers are down to earth good buggers and you know you’re helping raise money for the same SAR team that might rescue you if it all turns to crap.”  And that about sums it up!  Enthusiastic participants raising funds for the Rescue Helicopter and Land Search and Rescue (SAR).


The three tiers of entry cater for all fitness types and motivation levels; the full marathon is 42km – dubbed “Extreme Toughness”. This gruelling track begins at Hikuai School on the eastern side of the Coromandel Ranges.  It incorporates gravel roads, rugged bush and two mountain climbs, before the long decent down to sea level at Thames High school to the finish.

The “Tough Enough” Half Marathon begins about halfway through the “Extreme Toughness” track for a 22km competition. The “Toughening Up” option brings it down to 14km trail for those looking to get started but not yet tough enough to take on the Half or Full Marathon.

As you can well appreciate, these devoted participants are very much in need of a little TLC during and after such a harrowing journey!  RRT was pleased to be of assistance; providing marshals along the home run to distribute plenty of rehydration and encouragement – in approx. equal amounts!


The aroma of RRT barbequed burgers “with the lot” at the finish … a welcome and much deserved recompense for such taxing physical exertion!  Free to the participants, and for sale to the spectators – all takings were donated directly to the Rescue Helicopter Trust and LandSAR.


Family fun, fitness, fine weather and fresh food … another great opportunity for RRT to enthusiastically give to the local community!