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In 2007, two athletes from Nelson, New Zealand were led by their coach Greg Lautenslager to California, where they competed in a three-week series of meets. The tour opened the eyes of Julian Matthews and Dominic Channon in an atmosphere conducive for top performances. The California Track & Field Tour was continued four years later and has become an annual journey for New Zealand athletes. Athletes have achieved a multitude of personal bests in their competition with many of the top athletes in the United States at the high school, university, and post-collegiate level. Lautenslager, a former world-class runner who has served as the head coach of Athletics Nelson and the National Academy of Distance for the past 14 years, knows his way around California. He organises everything – flights, local transportation, hotels, restaurants, meets, training headquarters and entertainment venues.