Helping each other was a theme in the Contact Epic Mountain Biking Challenge, which took place last Saturday.
Race director Danielle Nicholson said many of the 600 riders came to another competitor’s aid along the way.
Dean Winton, of Dunedin, was one competitor who discovered the value of ‘‘good karma’’, Mrs Nicholson said.
When Kate Spenceley, of Dunedin, fell into a river, Mr Winton and Geoff Greer, also of Dunedin, helped her up.
Mr Winton gave her spare clothing so she could finish the race.
Later in the race Mr Winton had a fall, suffering cuts and bruises, as well as grit under his contact lenses.
‘‘He hit Timaru Creek about 20km out and he desperately wanted to make the finish line, because he was the last man standing,’’ Mrs Nicholson said.
‘‘So these four riders who had lights on their helmets said ‘look mate, we will ride you in’.’’
The riders — Ben Hallenstein and Jet Neervoort, both of Australia, along with Tony Raggett and Lia Stiles, both of Invercargill — rode one behind, one in front and one on either side to help guide Mr Winton to the finish line.
There was ‘‘good karma’’ at work, Mrs Nicholson said.
‘‘I tell you, the Buddhists would love this event.’’
As well as celebrating the giving spirit of the riders, Mrs Nicholson said $19,000 would be provided to a fund to which Hawea community groups and individuals could apply.
‘‘We believe in giving back and this is one way we can do that.’’