The Beginnings of the Coastal Five

When we moved to Taranaki in December 2020 as a family, we were excited at the prospect of settling down as a family.  After being based in South-East Queensland for many years we decided Taranaki was the place we wanted to raise our two young sons, Finn and Charlie aged 5 and 3 respectively.


With extended family living in Taranaki and being where Suz was born and raised we were excited to embrace the fantastic lifestyle on offer in the region.   As keen outdoor enthusiasts we will be exposing our sons to all the great things on offer. We have already explored many of the walking trails with Finn and Charlie, Suz and I summited the Mountain in April and are looking forward to many more adventures to come.

Coastal Five team
Suzanne, Mark and Finn at the 2021 Coastal Five

As our professional life has been in coaching for triathlon and running, we have participated in countless events over the years throughout Australia and New Zealand.  We have also organised a few events including the World’s only 24-hour triathlon on the Sunshine Coast from 2009-2011.  The thrill of seeing people accomplish things for the first time or achieving a personal best is why we do what we do.


It was surprising that when we arrived in Taranaki there were not too many multisport/running events for local athletes to choose from.  Being the curious types, we investigated this a little more and saw there was a need to put on an event that showcased the amazing places Taranaki has to offer.

And that is how the Coastal Five came to be.  We wanted to put on an event that was unique, utilised the natural beauty of the region and enticed not only local athletes to compete but also encourage others to visit Taranaki.


Since we came up with the concept of the Coastal Five, the support we have received from New Plymouth District Council, Taranaki Regional Council and Venture Taranaki has been fantastic.  In fact, without them we would not be able to hold the event.

Working the finish line in 2021
Working the finish line in 2021

Our goals for this event are simple.


Firstly, it is about participation, and we want to make it accessible for all groups of the community.  Runners who will be interested in competing all 5 events and doing the marathon distance over 2 days, walkers who might just want to join in for fun, and teams to challenge each other in our team’s competition.


Secondly, we are working with the Council to ensure that it is a sustainable environmentally friendly event. It is a privilege that we will be able to run in areas like Lake Mangamahoe, Pukekura Park, Te Henui Walkway and Pukeiti.  To help protect these beautiful areas we’ll be adopting a zero-waste policy as well as competitors will have virtual race packs and can opt out of collecting finishers medals.

Finally, we want to help bring as many visitors into the region as possible. Show people from the rest of New Zealand and even overseas that Taranaki is a place ‘like no other.’ With more people from outside the region competing it has massive positive impacts economically for the region.


We can’t wait to host this event on November 20 and 21.  If you are after something different then we promise you’ll enjoy the Coastal Five.


- Mark Turner
Founder of the Coastal Five

Finn loving helping at the Devon Mile
Finn loving helping at the Devon Mile