Saturday March 7 2009

The race history and other information

The first Tararua Mountain Race was held in 1990 when a small group of local runners wanted to have their own event on the mountain running calendar. For the first 4 years it was run in November, then in the 1994-95 summer it switched to March. As a result there was no run in 1994. It has been run every year since and is now well established. It attracts runners from all over the country as well as internationally.

It is the hardest mountain run in New Zealand and it follows the classic Southern Crossing route of the Tararua mountain range, north of Wellington. There is a total ascent of 2,250m and a total descent of 2,475m, with a total distance of 35.4km. The race traverses the route from Kaitoke to Otaki Forks, however it was run in the opposite direction for the first couple of years and again in 2000. Feedback from the participants and consideration of the rugged track conditions along the Marchant Ridge section means that the event will continue to follow the current direction.

Regarded as a hard weekend trip by local trampers (hikers), the track is rugged underfoot and climbs to Mt Hector at 1529m. The views can be fantastic, but only the very fit or insane contemplate running it. The defining aspect of this race is the weather conditions along the open tops and previous knowledge of the route is a huge advantage. The Tararua range is famous for its dangerous weather conditions, and navigation can become difficult to the inexperienced if low cloud rolls in. Because of this, first time participants are required to run as a team of two. However, this is at the organisers' discretion and experienced mountain runners should expect to be able to compete as individuals.

The average time to run this event is 7½ hours. Taking into account the tough nature of this event some amazing race records has been set. Runners such as Collin Rolfe, Antonia Wood, Gillian Ingham, Tony Gazley and Chris Tait set record times in the 1990's, which stand today. However runners like Carline Thomas, Billie Marshall, Dougal Thorburn, Julie Gordon, Cheryl Young and David Keen (to name a few) are always competing to improve their personal times or aim to break records. Two other amazing people need to be mentioned as they have achieved an amazing goal by running every event; they are Terry Patterson and Allan Stowell.

Race categories

Individual event

Teams of two

Team competitors must race together and finish together or risk disqualification.
Both members must be +40 years for Veteran teams.

Pre-race day information



On the day information


Getting there...

Getting home...

Registration and race start

During the race

After the race

Post-race day information

The race organiser

Lyndsay Fletcher

Lyndsay took over as the main organiser in 2001. Brent Harrison was the organiser of this race till 2000. Lyndsay has been involved with this event since the start. For the first two years he volunteered to help man the check point station at Kime Hut. In 1992 he teamed up with Brent to help with the organisation, where he computerised many aspects of the event. Lyndsay is also responsible for compiling the participant database, producing the enrolment forms, results, certificates and letters.

Lyndsay's experience of tramping (hiking) in the Tararua Ranges and years of involvement with Land Search and Rescue, along with the knowledge of the variable weather conditions that the Southern Crossing route has to offer, allows him to run this event safely. Lyndsay volunteers his time to organise this event and to help him, there is a small organising committee, consisting also of volunteers. Lyndsay has a keen group of other volunteers to help with the smooth running of this event on race day.

Contact Details
Phone: 64 3 5471000 (home) 64 21 1431610 (mobile)