Former Coast-to-Coast champ cheers GrapeRiders along

Three-time Coast-to-Coast winner Emily Miazga at the GrapeRide finish line. Photo Peter Jones

As riders in the 2021 Whitehaven GrapeRide crossed the finish line in varying states of health, an interested onlooker could certainly identify with the fortitude needed to complete such an event.

Emily Miazga, who won the women’s Coast-to-Coast title in 2006, 2008 and 2009, was on the sidelines at the event and, although not competing, loved the local vibe it emitted.

“You can’t really beat this district with the wineries and the whole GrapeRide concept … it just really ties in with the atmosphere of getting out, getting social, hitting some wineries … but also, if you want to be at the pointy end and test your mettle you can push it. I think it covers everything.”

She says chances of her competing in the GrapeRide are slim. “I think I am just too competitive,” she added with a chuckle.

Canadian-born Emily, 46, has forgone major multisport events now and gets her fitness kicks from mountain biking, tramping, rock climbing and pack rafting on the West Coast with her partner.

She was at the GrapeRide promoting her business venture, Em’s Power Cookies, which are energy snacks made from her personal recipies.

She also sponsored the Routeburn Classic in Fiordland at the weekend but chose to attend the Marlborough event to support a couple of friends who were competing and catch up with former acquaintances.

“It’s just nice to float around and to chat with people. I have also run into a few old friends from back in the day, which is always great.”