Not for the faint hearted - this is quite possibly NZ's toughest off-road marathon.
Starting on private land at Bethells (next to the Bethells Beach reserve) and heading up towards Razorback Ridge via 4 wheel drive track. At the top of the ridge, turn right and proceed in the direction of the sea. At the 1st fork in the 4 wheel drive track turn right and head down for approx. 1km. From here, you will have a solid climb while being rewarded with breath-taking views. Once you've ticked off a few tough km's, you'll arrive on Razorback Ridge. (Remember its all private land once leaving the beach so strictly no training on this part of the course please). You will head along Razorback ridge with stunning 360 degree views of the coast line and ranges. You will start your descend down the 4 wheel drive track you came up. The road will fork and you will continue down the 4 wheel drive track which snakes its way to run parallel with the sand dunes (the ones at the North West end of Lake Wainamu).
You will proceed across the sand dunes to the Bethells Road Bridge that you entered through in your car. Cross under the road and along the sand 4 wheel drive track to the start of the Te Henga walk way. With a short substantial climb, you're on the way along the Te Henga trail, then proceed to enjoy the shade of the Goldies Bush / Mokoroa Loop. This year the marathon course won't drop to stream level shortly after entering Goldies Loop, instead you'll descend into the bush along a gravel trail, cross the foot bridge and proceed anti-clock wise along the bush track to just before the Mokoroa Falls lookout. Here you'll descend the stairs to the river and follow downstream along the track (crossing the river approx. 6 times) till you reach the foot bridge. Then its back along the Te Henga trail (easier going south than north), across the stream beside the Bethells Life Gaurd HQ, through the car park to the finish on private Bethells land.
Total ascent over the Marathon course - 1984m (vertical metres climbed).
Private land map (808k pdf)
Both the 42.2km Teams Marathon and the 42.2km individuals event start from the event base on private Bethells Estate at 7.00am with a course briefing 10 mins before the start time.
Whether you are already entered, or entering on the day, please arrive at the event base at least 45 minutes before your designated start time.
Course Cut off
Given the rugged terrain on the course a cut-off time of 4.00pm will apply to all courses, this means you must be at the 32km mark by 2pm (ie you must be back on Te Henga walkway heading for home at 2pm).
Over the Marathon you will see four aid stations:
- The first one is at approx 12km in the Te Henga Walkway car park after you go under the Bethells Rd road bridge coming from Lake Wainamu.
- The second is at approx 22km at the Constable Rd end of the Te Henga Walkway.
- The third is at approx 27km in the Middle of the Goldies Bush loop at the Horseman Road entrance.
- The fourth one is at 32km at the Constable Rd end of the Te Henga Walkway as you head for the homeward stretch along the Te Henga Walkway.
All aid stations will have LOADED electrolyte drink, water, bananas to help you along. It is important that all competitors treat these aid stations as a backup rather than a first option. You should come 100% prepared for your day out with enough food and water for the duration of your journey.
Unfortunately we are not able to take out personal drop bags to the other aid stations. If you have a support crew they are however welcome to transport supplies and meet you at the aid stations along the course.
Depending on the weather/forecast for event day, a call will be made by event staff on Thursday as to whether we will be implementing the below options for the competitors in the 42.2km/30km/21.1km event. This will be communicated to you before race day, but plan to need it all, and leave out the un-required items if that call is made (Final decision to be made and communicated on event morning).
- Option 1: Nothing
- Option 2: Seam sealed jacket
- Option 3: Long sleeve top (polyprop or wool), beanie (polyprop or wool), survival blanket, seam sealed jacket
While some of this gear may seem excessive, we ask you to bring it for your safety. You may not need it while you are running or walking but if something happens and you have to stop you will need it. The event is on very exposed, rugged country and it can be very cold if you have to stay in one spot.
Team Relay Information
The distance can be split into 2-4 legs, as follows:
Start - Bethells private property (event base, start / finish point)
Leg 1 - Bethells loop, 12.2km Transition 1 - At aid station is in the car park to the right of the Bethells Bridge as you drive into Bethells (opposite the start of the car park to the sand dunes and Lake Wainamu)
Leg 2 - Te Henga (heading north is slightly tougher than heading south) 10km Transition 2 - Top of Te Henga track / Constable Rd (just after #87 Constable Road, by the entrance to the Te Henga walk way)
Leg 3 - Constable Rd, Goldies / Mokoroa to Horseman Rd and back to Constable Rd - 10km Transition 3 - Constable Rd / start of Te Henga track (same spot as transition 2).
Leg 4 - Te Henga (heading south is slightly easier than the northern leg), 10km Finish - Bethells reserve (event base, start / finish point) Your "baton" will be your timing transponder and race number being worn by the preceding runner.
See Team Relay Course Leg Information (820k pdf).