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Pushing on . . . Former North Otago multisport athlete Hamish Elliott cracks a smile on the Coast to Coast mountain run. He recorded the fastest time for the run, finishing in 2hr57min27sec. Inset: Elliott and Paul Gow cycle along the Alps 2 Ocean Cycle Trail on March 6. The pair rode the 310km trail in full in 12 hours. PHOTOS: MARATHONPHOTOS.LIVE/SUPPLIED

With so many sporting events being cancelled or postponed, finding the motivation to train has been hard for a lot of athletes.

But talented multisporter and endurance runner Hamish Elliott is continuing to find opportunities amid the challenges.

‘‘It depends on why you’re doing it,’’ Elliott (27) said.

‘‘If you’ve got a good why . . . it’s quite easy to maintain, but if you’re only training to do one event, or an event, your motivation runs out pretty quick.’’

Earlier this month, the former Waitaki Boys’ High School pupil biked from Aoraki Mt Cook to Oamaru, along the Alps 2 Ocean Cycle Trail, in one day.

He had always been keen to do the trail in full, having previously done several of the sections, one of which runs through his family farm, and roped Enfield multisport athlete Paul Gow in to do it with him.

Starting at Aoraki Mt Cook at 5.15am on March 6, they ‘‘ticked along’’ at about 25kmh, finishing the 310km trail in about 12 hours.

‘‘I just love exercising, I train mainly just for fun, but also I just like doing adventures and exploring and then just the general challenges that it offers,’’ he said.

‘‘I also like the discomfort — mentally and physically — of what endurance sport gives to you. It offers a lot of personal growth and development.’’

Elliott grew up in rural North Otago, but is now based in Wanaka, where he works as a builder and looks after a small farm. Fitting multisport in around work was a bit of a juggling act, but Wanaka was a great training base, he said.

While many of New Zealand’s major annual multisport events had fallen victim to Covid›19 recently, the Coast to Coast was able to go ahead in a reduced capacity last month.

Elliott was approached about entering the new mixed one day teams category with Rachel Clarke and Louis Crosby, and blitzed the 30.5km section faster than any other competitor on the day, in 2hr 57min 27sec. His team, Team OSM, completed the 243km course in 9hr 57min 5sec to win the mixed category.

After being forced to withdraw during the 2020 race, and breaking his hand just weeks before last year’s Coast to Coast, Elliott said it was important he completed this year’s event — and enjoyed it.

‘‘I guess every setback, or when something doesn’t go right, it’s more how you handle it and bounce back in a positive mindset.’’

It was Coast to Coast where Elliott first caught the multisport bug back in 2017. Inspired by his sister Claire, he entered the two› day event as an individual, and placed third overall.

‘‘I wanted a break from club rugby, and went and raced the two›day race, following what Claire had done, and had a pretty good experience.’’

He decided to pursue it further, entering the longest day the following year — and then ended up in a team competing in a stage race in China.

‘‘It sort of kept on giving for me — and I had more to chase.’’

Running was his main focus at present, but he had been in the kayak a bit over summer, and planned to spend more time on the bike over winter.

‘‘At the moment, running is the strength, but to be a good multisport athlete you need to be pretty good at all three.’’

While he hoped the Dunedin and Queenstown marathons would go ahead later this year, he did not have any specific races to train for. But endurance sport required constant, year after year training — especially if you wanted to ‘‘have a crack’’ at the big races.

‘‘You’ve got to stay consistent and keep maintaining training and then building to any race that might come up.’’

But he also recognised the importance of giving more time to other things in life, rather than letting training consume all his time.

Elliott did not get home to North Otago as much as he would like, but his family were big supporters — his nana, especially.

‘‘I like to catch up with Nana — she’s always following all my races.’’