Which leg should I do in the Relay?

Leg 1 - Arkles Bay to Long Bay (Full Monty Start)

Beginning at Arkles Bay on the Whangaparaoa Peninsula, the first section of the Full Monty is the toughest leg of the lot – but arguably the most fun! Starting at High tide, it’s a scramble around the few visible rocks to the Weiti River. Now the adventure really begins, with an (approx.) 80m swim across to Karepiro Bay, followed shortly after by a 250m wade/swim (approx.). There’s more rock hopping on the other side before you arrive at the long expansive beach of Long Bay.

This leg is for confident swimmers only and it is recommended you practice swimming in your race kit to get a feel for it. If you’re a confident swimmer and eager for an epic adventure, this is the leg you definitely want to enter.

Leg 2 - Long Bay to Browns Bay (Mid Monty Start)

Leg 2 is no walk in the park by any means, Long Bay to Browns Bay has its own challenges. There’s still plenty of water interaction with small swims required to navigate a few tricky sections (although nothing like the first leg). You will pass Winstones Cove, Waiake Bay & Torbay on your way Browns Bay.

This leg is suited to those of you who are confident in the water but aren’t prepared for a lengthy swim. There is still plenty of water interaction and an honest challenge up for grabs if you are game for the adventure.

Leg 3 - Browns Bay to Milford Beach (Mini Monty Start)

The tide has receded for 2hrs by the time this leg gets underway (11.30am), but don’t be fooled as there is still water interaction in various sections on your way to Milford. While there are no real swimming sections (unless you really want to : )) on this leg, there are some locations to indulge in a small wade, with water potentially up to your chest – especially the Wairau Creek in Milford. And some slippery rocks in places to keep you on your toes.

You will pass the popular Rothesay Bay, Murrays Bay, Mairangi Bay, Campbells Bay & Castor Bay, with beach goers wondering who on earth are these crazies running and walking in wet clothes and shoes.

Leg 4 - Milford Beach to Takapuna Beach (Bay Scrambler Start)

The amount of water interaction you have on this leg is up to you. You can stay mostly dry all day if you prefer, by choosing a good line on the rocks/sand. Or you can make a splash and cool off as you go, plus potentially cut corners/save time if you are a competent swimmer (we won’t tell).

This leg includes Milford Beach, Thornes Bay, and Takapuna Beach. Choose to take the public footpath between beaches, or challenge yourself to some rock hopping instead (my preferred route!).

Leg 5 - Takapuna Beach to Finish (Beach Hopper Start)

Beginning at the southern end of Takapuna Beach, the last leg is still stacked with plenty of variety but the tide is now halfway out so apart from a small section of wading early on - the amount of water interaction you have is completely up to you. The rocks on this leg are easy to navigate and there are more options/different lines to choose so keep looking ahead for the best line.

As well as visiting a largely undiscovered section of coastline, you will pass Narrow Neck Beach, Cheltenham Beach and you get to cross the finish line on Windsor Reserve, whop whoop!

mark fordham