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Second bite at funds for local pump track

Martinborough’s Pump Track Project will have a second bite of a major fundraising cherry – after being chosen again to receive funds from the upcoming Skyline Challenge, which was cancelled last year.

The bike and scooter track, planned for Martinborough’s Considine Park next to the town’s swimming pool, has been the focus of community fundraising for the past 18 months.

To date, $167,000 has been raised since South Wairarapa District Council granted use of council land for the track, Pump Track Project spokesperson Charlotte Harding told Midweek.

The track is expected to cost up to $280,000 but that figure “was a moveable beast” – and likely to be reduced, due to offers of help from local businesses, she said.

Last year, the Martinborough Lions Club chose the Pump Track Project as the recipient of money expected to be raised from its annual family friendly Skyline Challenge: In which runners, walkers and mountain bikers complete distances across private farmland overlooking the town.

The event includes 8km, 10km, 16km, and 34km courses over the “diverse terrain” of three historic sheep stations [Huangarua, Puruatanga and Oystershell farms] and a flat 3km kids’ circuit.

“Unfortunately, challenging weather meant the 2023 event needed to be cancelled,” Harding said.

“However, the Lions Club came back to us this year and said they would like proceeds from the 2024 event to go to us.”

A pump bike track includes jumps, rollers and other fun obstacles. The 220m Martinborough track has been designed by Byron Scott, of TrailPro in Auckland.

Instead of hard pedalling, wheels enthusiasts use body momentum and gravity to propel themselves forward around the track, Harding said.

It is hoped construction will begin later this year.

“Byron is willing to work with flexibility around local support,” she said. “He has been in to talk with senior pupils at Martinborough School, to find out what they want.”

Community feedback led to the inclusion of a toddlers’ loop to keep little ones safe from “flying teenagers” on the main trail, Harding said.

“We are also committed to making the track suitable for scooters and skateboards, as they’re very popular in our town.

“We’ve been watching success stories coming out of places like the Masterton skatepark and want to encourage our children to ‘next level it’ when they’re using the track.”

The track will be for all ages but particularly children aged 11 and up, looking for something to do in Martinborough.

“We’re building the best thing we can for our community,” Harding said.

A Colour Run event will also be held in Martinborough on March 10, to raise funds for the track.

The Martinborough Skyline Challenge is on Saturday, April 20, starting from 276 Ponatahi Rd, 2.7km from Martinborough. Go to www.skylinechallenge.co.nz for more information and tickets.

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