earSHOTS ambassador, Dave Jaggs Coast to Coast Race Report

March 10

Last month earSHOTS athlete Dave Jaggs took on the challenge of the longest day Coast to Coast Race across New Zealand’s South Island. All that time spent training hard and listening to earSHOTS bluetooth headphones paid off and he came 12th Overall and 2nd Age Group in one of the World’s toughest endurance events. Well done Dave! 
Setting off at 6am from Kumara Beach on the West Coast, Dave got off to a solid start and after a short run, hit the first bike leg with the lead bunch. 2021 saw one of the strongest fields ever at Coast 2 Coast, probably due to the lack of athletes travelling abroad, making tough competition.
 As all Coasters know, the Goat Pass mountain run is where moves are made and the race really begins. Dave had a strong run to the Goat Pass hut, the rivers were high, and colder than normal but that just added to the fun. A stupid lack of concentration while descending, lead to a good fall, and a cut to his arm, shin and face.
“It definitely slowed me down but that is the nature of the race and terrain.”
Finishing the run in 23rd position it was all to play for entering his favourite discipline, the 70km kayak. The river flow was perfect, the rapids were pumping and the sun was shining. You really can’t ask for better conditions for the paddle and it definitely would have played in Dave’s favour. earSHOTS waterproof headphones had served him well in his Kayak training, and Dave quickly started the chase, climbing from 23rd through to 15th with a strong paddle. However, the perfect conditions were slowly deteriorating with the building Nor’easter, which Coast to Coast is so famous for.
With just 70km on the bike to go its time to dig deep, time to empty the tank. A fast transition, and a few minutes to get the legs moving again, then it is time to tackle the longest straight in NZ, Eyre Road, 27km into that howling Nor’easter.
 “Strangely I actually love this part of the race. You must find the mental power to dig deep, to hurt more than the other guys. I try to remember all the training, all the sacrifices I’ve made. The hours away from my family and use that as motivation to just go for it.”
A strong ride saw Dave go from 15th to finally finish 12th place overall, and 2nd in the men’s open with a time of 12:11:58. Sadly it wasn’t the top 10 he was hoping for, but it was still a great day and a great race, with a stacked competitive field. While he is happy to be taking a break, he’s already got his eye on the Elite team event next year.
Dave is now spending some quality time with his young family travelling the South Island at a more leisurely pace. Follow Daves adventures on Instagram @another.average.dave - though we’d say he is anything but average!