The storm of last April provided new challenges for about 680 people who took part in the third Staples Rodway Cape Challenge on Saturday, running and trekking up to 30km across the contours of Cape Kidnappers.
Event organiser David Tait and timing systems operator Tim Anderson were astounded by the terrain, and the determination of competitors who ranged in age from the early teens to a 75-year-old.
A 15-year-old completed the full journey, while the eldest was a member of a team which shared stages of the mammoth event. The challenge lasted more than six hours, from when the first walkers started at 7.45am to when the last competitor finished, shortly before the prizegiving started at race base at Clifton at 3.30pm.
The numbers highlighted the event's increasing popularity. In the first year, about 500 took part, and last year there were 540 starters. Saturday's 680 contributed to the raising of over $12,000 for the Hawke's Bay Helicopter Rescue Trust.
Rumours are that a few of the more hardy also tackled yesterday's Napier City Pak'n Save Half Marathon and Tremains run/walk, which attracted 486 runners and walkers, some of whom were at the start at Napier Boys High School at 7.30am. The 21.0975km run attracted 139 entries and the walk 92, while the rest took part in 5km and 10km runs and walks.