Course Information

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62km ULTRA

The 62km ultramarathon course offers a true test that will take you through some of the most spectacular trails within Victoria Forest Park. Setting off from private farmland on the outskirts of Reefton township, you will follow a fully marked course through gravel mining roads and across undulating farmland until you reach the start of the infamous Painkiller Track at the 4km point.

The recently restored ‘Painkiller Track’ passes through stunning native beech forest and was once a 6-foot-wide access road between the historic Painkiller and Inglewood mines. One thing is for sure, it certainly lives up to its name! This old mining track twists, turns, climbs and descends through the rugged landscape. This steep, narrow, single track is a minefield of exposed roots and fallen branches making this a challenging technical section. After reaching the disused Inglewood Mine at the 11.5km point, the curse links up with the Ajax track which passes by the historic Ajax/Golden Fleece mine. A well-benched single track with a few undulating sections, the last 2km along the Machine track to the car park is steep and technical downhill to Blacks Point. This is the location of the first aid station which includes a water stop and toilets at the 16km point.

 

After a quick refuel you are then faced with a gradual climb up the historic Murray Creek track to the Waitahu Saddle before descending to the Clematis swing bridge via the Waitahu River track. After crossing over the Waitahu River, you will arrive at your next checkpoint - the 24km mark. This is the second major checkpoint on the Ultra course with a buffet energy boost and hydration available. Please note at this point there will be a cut-off time of 4.5hrs (10.30am).

 

After departing the second aid station, you then follow a rough four wheel-drive road adjacent to the Waitahu River which leads you to Montgomerie Hut where there will be another aid station at the 31km point. This gives you a chance to catch your breath before you take on the gruelling climb up Kirwans Track. A buffet energy boost, hydration and toilets are available here.

 

With the Painkiller Track behind you, do not be fooled into thinking the hard work is over. This next section will certainly test your mental and physical resilience! After departing Montgomerie Hut, the tracks climbs gradually along the Montgomerie River before you are then presented with a steep ascent via Kirwans Track to the highest point of the course at 1294m. At the 40km mark you will arrive at Kirwans Hut, which is built on a stunning site in an alpine clearing just above the bush line, and this is without doubt one of the most spectacular sections of the course. On a clear day, your efforts will be rewarded with views extending all the way to Aoraki Mt Cook. At this location, there will be the fourth aid station and the mountain ‘check-in’ point.

 

From here you start your descent via a well-formed pack track towards Capleston. Upon reaching the historic gold town, at the 52km point, there will be the fifth aid station. There is a cut off time of 10 hours (4pm) to reach this aid station.

 

The track from Capleston involves a steep descent and follows old forestry roads in some places before linking up with the Gannons Road Bridge where there will be one final aid station. After a final pick-me-up, you'll be happy to hit your final few kilometres along the gravel road towards the finish line on private farmland. Remember to keep some energy in the tank for that sprint finish! There you have it, 62km! You are a resilient hero...                                                                  

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33km PAINKILLER

 

At 33km, this course provides a test for even the most elite athletes. Setting off from private farmland on the outskirts of Reefton township, you will follow a fully marked course through gravel mining roads and across undulating farmland until you reach the start of the infamous Painkiller Track at the 4km point.

The recently restored ‘Painkiller Track’ passes through stunning native beech forest and was once a 6-foot-wide access road between the historic Painkiller and Inglewood mines. One thing is for sure, it certainly lives up to its name! This old mining track twists, turns, climbs and descends through the rugged landscape. This steep, narrow, single track is a minefield of exposed roots and fallen branches making this a challenging technical section. After reaching the disused Inglewood Mine at the 11.5km point, the course links up with the Ajax track which passes by the historic Ajax/Golden Fleece mine. A well-benched single track with a few undulating sections, the last 2km along the Machine track to the car park is steep and technical downhill to Blacks Point. This is the location of the first aid station which includes a water stop and toilets (16km point).

After a quick refuel you are then faced with a gradual climb up the historic Murray Creek track to the Waitahu Saddle before descending to the Clematis swing bridge via the Waitahu River track. After crossing over the Waitahu River, you will arrive at your next checkpoint- the 24km mark. This is the second major checkpoint on the Ultra course with a buffet energy boost and hydration available. Please note at this point there will be a cut-off time of 6hrs (2.00pm).

After taking a left-hand turn at the Clematis swing bridge, the course follows a 4WD track along the Waitahu River all the way to the Gannons Road Bridge where there will be one final aid station. After crossing the bridge, which provides stunning views of the river, you will be happy to hit your final few kilometres along the gravel road towards the finish line. Make sure you grab some extra jet planes for that all-important boost to get you home! 33km of epic resilience...congratulations!

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10km GOLD

Just because this is the shortest course, don't think we have let you off lightly! Setting off from private farmland, this course takes you on a whirlwind tour of the local area venturing through several mines via a series of 4WD tracks and gravel roads. The halfway aid station will be located at the Gannons Road Bridge, which provides stunning views of the Waitahu River. After a quick stop to rehydrate and refuel you then begin to make your way back towards the finish line via a series of gravel roads. Short and sharp, this 10km course is not to be underestimated!