12 Feb 2012

Couple take out top titles in Coast to Coast

8:49 am on 12 February 2012

Nelson couple Richard and Elina Ussher have become the first couple to win the Coast to Coast multisport event in the same year.

Four-time champion Richard Ussher won his fifth title in the 243 kilometre race across the South Island on Saturday.

The race from Kumara Beach on the West Coast to Sumner Beach in Christchurch includes a 140km cycle, a 36km run mostly over the Southern Alps and a 67km kayak through the Waimakariri Gorge.

Ussher finished with a time of 11h 33min, while his wife Elena Ussher won the women's one-day race in a time of 13h 25min.

Coast to Coast media manager Michael Jacques says it was not an easy race due to a steady head wind all the way and very low river levels which made kayaking slow.

Neelu Memon from Christchurch became the first blind person to complete the event, competing in the two-day race. She finished in a time of 21h 1min 56s.

A prizegiving will be held Christchurch's Hagley Park on Sunday. It is the 30th time the Coast to Coast has been held.