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by Chris Tobin

A strong contingent of Timaru athletes will be contesting the Coast to Coast this weekend.

Highfield school teacher Anthony Eyles (37) has entered the one-day event for the first time.

“I did the two-day last year; it was a good day out and actually felt too easy.”

His preparation has not been as thorough as he would have liked, having to concentrate on his studies to qualify as a primary school teacher.

“My goal is to beat the cut-off and finish.”

By dawns early light . . . The large two-day field at the Kathmandu Coast to Coast gets underway during a previous event. PHOTO: ALLIED PRESS FILES

Simone Faulkner is also in the one-day, while Matt Bowater, Kirk Falconer, Shane Ashley, Darren Gallagher and Bruce Hutchinson are contesting the two-day individual.

Contesting the two-day, two-person team event are Duncan McLeod and Greg Strachan.

In the three-person-team two-day are Anthony Frew, Sam Walsh and Reon Park.

Glen Sturgess and Blair Johnson are in the two-day tandem and Tom Hall will take part in the mountain run.

The men’s longest day has no previous winner starting. The favourites are Australians Alex Hunt and Jameza Pretto. Those carrying New Zealand’s hopes are Dougal Allan, Sam Manson, Sam Goodall and Ryan Kiesanowski.

In the women’s longest day, Elina Ussher will be lining up for her 14th race in a row and is aiming to take her fifth title.

Former All Blacks captain Richie McCaw is competing in the tandem two-day with team-mate Rob Nichol.

This year’s Coast to Coast is the first for new race director Glen Currie and the event received full entries at its earliest time in 10 years.