Multisport: Alex Hunt looking to become first Australian to win the Coast to Coast in 31 years

Australian multisport athlete Alex Hunt is hoping to become the first athlete from across the ditch to win the Coast to Coast in more than 30 years.    

An Australian hasn't won the title since 1993 and, after four podium finishes, Hunt is vowing to put the event to bed this year.    

The Tasmanian has left no stone unturned in 2024, relocating to Christchurch for six weeks leading up to the event.     

"It's been quite a big commitment, certainly tested a few relationships," he said.    

But it has allowed for his best preparation yet for the event he's determined to finally win.   

"It is pretty much my year to be honest... it's going to define if it's a good or a bad year, I think."   

Since competing in his first Coast to Coast in 2016, Hunt has been hooked.     

In 2018, he came second to Sam Clarke - and he's also finished third twice, including last year behind winner Sam Manson.   

He's now hopeful the six weeks spent training in New Zealand can finally put him on the top of the podium.     

"Getting out on the run course and the paddle course regularly and just seeing the run course, how many different options there are and trying to figure out the fastest ones has been... useful and insightful."      

Back in 2019, Hunt's mountain run provided a comical moment when he dropped his painkillers, losing valuable time before the body-bashing descent.    

Alex Hunt and Hamish Elliott  compete in the mountain running stage of Coast to Coast
Alex Hunt and Hamish Elliott compete in the mountain running stage of Coast to Coast Photo credit: Getty Images

"I've learnt from past races and we've got a better strategy this year," he said.     

But even if he can manage to win, he's hardly expecting a hero's welcome back in Tasmania.    

"Outside of my immediate family, I don't think anyone else will care. But for me, it would be cool... and that's why I'm here," he said. "It would be amazing." 

If he is first to Christchurch's New Brighton beach, any homesickness will surely be a distant memory.