‘The Nugget’ taking place this weekend

Friday 07 May 2021

The Nugget Multisport Festival is taking place once again this weekend. Taking place in Waihi and Waihi Beach since 2010, the event has been growing ever since.

It brings you all that’s great about being outdoors and active and rolls it into an event that anyone can be a part of.

Bayofplenty.live was lucky enough to chat to event director Mark Samson about this weekend’s event and why he keeps coming doing it year after year.

What is The Nugget Multisport Festival and how did the name ‘The Nugget’ come about?

Mark Samson: The Nugget Multisport Festival comprises 5 different races, of which 2 of those are multi-discipline races. There are a 6, 10 and 23km off-road running/walking races plus the Half Nugget and Full Nugget races. The Half Nugget comprises of a 10km run plus a 21km mountain bike ride. The Full Nugget comprises of a 22km road bike, a 10km harbour kayak leg, an 8km road bike leg, then the 10km trail run plus the 21km mountain bike ride.

The name was appointed by Total Sport, the original owners, who felt it represented the gold heritage of the area.

What makes a Multisport Festival different from a marathon or fun walk/run event?

MS: I think it’s the multi-discipline nature of the event and the fact that it’s mostly off-road, so people get close to nature as well as getting dirty, sweaty and muddy. The course also changes year to year due to weather so there’s always surprises and new challenges.

This event has been running since 2010 – in your opinion what makes people wanting to come back every year?

MS: The Nugget has a reputation for having a great course and is known as a very well-organised event. That’s the ‘magic’ combo that people want to come back to. We set high standards for ourselves in terms of course presentation and ‘The Nugget Experience’ that we try to deliver for our guests.

What is it about this event that makes you want to keep being involved with the organisation of the event?

MS: We all love seeing people get active and get out of their comfort zone to achieve something that they didn’t think that they could. We also love the camaraderie of the people – multisporters are a very cool group of like-minded people who it’s just fun to be around. We also love showing off this amazing area that we’re lucky enough to call home. It’s also nice to have a positive impact on local businesses and to be able to donate reasonable amounts of money to local charities each year.

How does the community of Waihi and Waihi Beach come together to support this event?

MS: We have around 70 people who come together to help each year, and probably 95% of those are the same people year-on-year. They all go home tired but buzzing after their day, mostly because of the same reasons stated above.

How many people on average do you get each year?

MS: We’ve been getting close to 1000 participants for the last 3 years, but this year we’re already past that so we’re likely to get well over 1000 in 2021.

What are you most excited about come event day?

MS: Personally, there are 2 things – one is that I love the competition and all the individual stories of people overcoming hardship to ‘conquer the beast’ and having a ball along the way. And the second thing is a huge sense of pride when the event gets underway, and then it all comes together and runs seamlessly. We have such a great organising team and they are all so wonderful to work with, so for their sakes ‘I love it when the plan comes together’. It’s a great thing to be a part of.

Caption: Competitors in The Nugget Multisport Festival in 2019. Images Supplied/ Nugget Photo Credit. Asse Barakat (Lumina).

Words: Caitlin Houghton