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Race course description

The race traverses the Southern Crossing route, in the Tararua Forest Park, from Kaitoke to Otaki Forks. In distance, the track is 35.4km and the total ascent is 2,250m. The total descent is 2,475m.

Animated race profile

The first part of the race, 16.43km to Alpha Hut, is the hardest, both physically and mentally. Initially, the climb from Kaitoke is of moderate steepness and, if it hasn't rained too much, is reasonably good underfoot, although it tends to be a bit "clayey". There is a short flat-ish section after about 6km that opens out for some great views, but after that you plunge back into the trees where there is deep mud, tree roots, steep ascents and the interminable Marchant Ridge, before you reach Alpha Hut, just at the break of the tree line.

View detailed race profile.

From the check point at Alpha Hut the route is above the bush line and traverses various peaks and knobs to the highest and most exposed point at Mt Hector (1529m). After one more climb over Field peak you reach Kime Hut, a total of 8.2km from Alpha Hut. From there it is a long and steep descent, of 10.8km, to the finish at Otaki Forks. The descent involves initially a rocky track above the tree line which, once entering the bush at Field Hut, transforms into a mix of tree-roots and mud or slippery clay. There are some good sections along here and it is all able to be run.

The finish at Otaki Forks, on the grassy flats of the Waiotauru River, is reached after a short grass covered plateau followed by crossing the river over the foot bridge.

 

Location map

It is a requirement that you carry a map of the route in your race kit (refer to point 9,
Conditions of Entry). The recommended topographical map is Topo50 BP33 Featherston. However a printed copy of the route is available at the start if you manage to forget.

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Race course profile

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Race course terrain images

Any images with "© Tony Gates, LEATHERWOOD LENZ" or "© Nigel Doyle, C4D Cafe & Photos"
are copyright. Unlawful use of copyright images is stealing.

Position your cursor over each image to display a brief location description.
Select each image to view full size or view them all as a slide show.
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Kaitoke to
Alpha Hut
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Thumbnail photo Thumbnail photo Thumbnail photo Thumbnail photo Alpha Hut
to Kime Hut
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Thumbnail photo Thumbnail photo Thumbnail photo Thumbnail photo Thumbnail photo Thumbnail photo
Thumbnail photo Kime Hut
to Otaki
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Purchase information for photographs taken by Tony Gates.
Contact: Leatherwood Lenz www.leatherwood.co.nz

 

Support volunteers

The Tararua Mountain Race is supported by a squadron of 50 volunteers on race day - plus the catering crew. The volunteers consist of three groups; marshals deployed along the route, the SAR teams and helpers based at the start and finish areas. The marshals and support people are made up of people from the local outdoors community; members of tramping clubs, members of the Wellington Ridge Runners community and previous competitors. Groups of marshals are based at Alpha and Kime Huts, while SAR teams are located throughout the course. First Aid is provided by personnel from St Johns.

The Wellington Land SAR Organisation in conjunction with the local Police SAR squad helps in the safe running of this event by supply SAR teams and equipment. They facilitate the need to cope with multiple emergencies during the event. They have been involved since the first race in 1990. This organisation consists of highly trained volunteers who are responsible for land Search and Rescue in the Wellington region. Individuals from this organisation volunteer their time for this event.

Select each photo to view full size.
Support photo 1Two of the support team at Alpha Hut (2006) Support photo 2Andrew Chisholm & Tony Gates manning the Atkinson Peak check point (2008)
Support photo 3Kime Hut marshals (2008) Support photo 4Kime Hut marshals busy collating participant
split times (2008)
Support photo 5Tony Gates along with others from the
support team at Kime Hut (2006)
Support photo 3Kerry Honey and Brian Johnson;
finish line time keepers

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