News & Blog
The skies cleared on Sunday morning just in time for the highly anticipated annual Dunes Dash. Opotiki hosts this event every year on the iconic Motu Trails. The complete Motu Trail is a network of three riding trails totalling 91km. As we arrived just before start time, you could see all the bright t-shirts huddled around the start line, all ages, shapes and sizes.
The Dunes Dash event is one to put on the calendar, the community event has attracted between 75-120 participants every year and offers 10km and 21km, run and walk options. The word is spreading and the event expects to build with entrants coming further a field to participate “The participants really enjoy the track and we have been told to expect more entries from Rotorua, Tauranga and Whakatane next year” says event coordinator Joseph Hayes.
The fabulous 11km Dunes Track sets this event apart from other running and walking events. The course starts by crossing the impressive Pakowhai ki Otutaopuku Bridge (Opotiki’s mini Golden Gates). Participants can admire the great vistas of the East Cape as they gasp for air along the undulating dune track that stretches the entire length of the beautiful Tirohanga beach.
Running for three years the Dunes Dash was originally established to encourage the use of the track to both locals and visitors and promote heath and fitness in the community. “Opotiki District Council also wanted to increase events taking place in Opotiki at this time of the year” says Joseph. Entries are open to all ages and Joseph encourages “anyone can give it a go, even if you haven’t done anything like this before”. Current records for the short dash (10km) stand at 53mins and 53 seconds and the long dash (21km) 1hour 21mins and 25 seconds.
The Motu Trails Dune Track is extremely unique and the only trail of its kind in New Zealand. Add this event to your calendar next September and get set to explore this beautiful place, a great event for fun runners and competitive athletes.
See you at the event next year and be sure to wear a bright t-shirt!