final details

Morning Folks, well, how things can change in a week. Fresh snow on Pisa this morning. It’ll all be gone by lunch time but it’s a good reminder NOT to be complacent just because the weather was so hot last year or a few good days this year.


I went around the course on Tuesday, was quite cool over Roy and Alpha, hot in the Cardrona valley… but I had my lightweight puffer jacket and my rain proof both on for the top of Pisa.


So, looking at the forecast – good news and bad news!

Good news is, it will not be as hot as last year! Looks like you’ll have a nice wind to blow you up some of the climbs and possibility of a gentle sprinkling of rain to lessen your over-heating. Yay!

Bad news – back to the original gear list. In your pack for the duration of the day.


So, make sure you bring to gear check at rego and take with you from 3am Saturday:

  • Mid-weight fleece or merino thermal top – those super light insulated jackets are also good. (something you can easily pull over your running T)
  • Seam-sealed (waterproof) jacket. Shell is fine.
  • Survival blanket/bag
  • Thir Band/Buff or warm hat.
  • Warm gloves
  • Long sleeve thermal top
  • Thermal leggings (not compression or fashion leggings! Thermal = actually keep you warm).
  • 2L water carrying capacity

You will need a Headlight too and reflective strips on your pack/vest for running through town before dawn. Good idea to have some extra stuff in your 3rd drop-bag at the Snow Farm too, just in case.


On legs 1 and 2 will need headlights. leg 3 is optional. some of you will be in the dark but it is now a nice gravelled walkway up Roy so you won’t need a light (unless heavily overcast). Leg 4 does not need a headlight. Leg 5 will need one if there is any chance you may be finishing in the dark (over 18hrs). Doesn’t really get dark until 9.30-10pm depending on cloud cover – you are in the open all the way to the end. (No running under trees – actually no trees in daylight hours at all – sunscreen up!!).


You HAVE to register on the Friday 25th before 6pm at the finish area – End of Kingan Road, Luggate. We will be checking gear. Drop bags must be handed in at Registration by 6pm on Friday. Must be clearly marked with your name and aid station. There will be separate area’s for each aid station you want the bag at. (All ‘left overs’ from the aid stations will be brought back to the finish area.) Briefing 6pm. New course so even if you have done the race before… best you come to the briefing.


3am on Saturday 26th is an early start so there won’t be any last minute registrations just before then. The only toilet will be a port-a-loo – best to go at your accomm before heading down. We will have reflective markers leading you all the way to the bottom of Roys Peak track. We will have a few marshals at crucial points. We have a lovely tail end Charlie so if you are not confident in the dark hang back with him and he’ll look after you until the sun comes up.


The first aid station you come to is now just over the Cardrona River in the DoC car park at Albert Town – from here you will follow reflective markers all the way through Albert Town, over Mt Iron (not a mountain at all – more like a brief ‘non flat’ bit) and then down through Wanaka.


At the base of Roy’s Peak track. I will meet you here, count you off, you can collect a drop bag, there will be a full aid station here. Good spot for supporters to see you go by (if they can be bothered at that time of the morning).


Now you are just following the only trail that leads you up the hill to Roy’s Peak. It is a packed gravel track.


There will be a marshal and some more drinks and snacks at the top of Alpha or just over as you start to head down (depends on how close he can get his vehicle).


The Cardrona Valley aid station is now on the OTHER side of the road in the paddock – runners  will be by-passing the DoC track car park and going under the Spotts Creek bridge, we will have a ladder to help you over the deer fence.

There will be a full aid station here including bag drop number 2. This is a great spot for your supporters to hang-out and wait for you to come through. You must leave this aid station in good form by 12.30pm. We will be strict on this cut-offs I’m afraid. If you get pulled you will be given a ride back into town/finish area.


There will be lots of markers to get you across the paddock and started on the Criffel track. Again this is a DOC track and like all the really obvious tracks only the intersections will be marked (plus the odd pink tape ‘comfy marker’.) When you get to the 1000m contour you can fill-up with water out of a creek. (first obvious creek you come to). The next water container is still 5km away! (Crucial to fill up at Cardrona Aid station before leaving. This next section is the hottest and its all up hill pretty much.

From the top of Criffel it’s a pretty good clear track all the way to the finish. Lots of markings at the intersections… a few comfy markers (comfy markers aren’t necessary to show you where to go cos there is only one way… they’re just to re-assure you)


When you get to the deer fence surrounding the Southern Hemisphere Proving Grounds you  follow the fence to your right and 2km to the Snow Farm Lodge (same as last year, different from all previous years). This is where the Marathon start is and your 3rd full aid station and 3rd bag drop area. If you need a pacer – this is where they can join you for the final 33kms.

About 3km’s after leaving the Snow farm lodge you will take a turn to your right up the Kirtle Burn track. This runs parallel to the old route but being in a valley it is more sheltered from the weather and you have the most beautiful water you can safely drink straight out of the stream beside you. It also saves you 1.6km! No, I don’t know why I haven’t done this before! Thanks Mal Law for the recommendation.


There will be another full aid station near the top of the mountain just out of ‘Sally’s Pinch’. Then the long 20ks of down hill takes you to the finish. One more water stop half way down.


LOTS of the course is quite rough under foot so you really need to watch where you’re going and NOT be looking at the scenery (a runner fell 3 years ago and dislocated his shoulder – keep your eyes front and centre!) Hopefully it’ll be cloudy (and cool) so you won’t see anything anyway.


There is food and refreshments awaiting you at the finish. Free Beer and Hot chips after 8pm to encourage you to hang around and cheer on the late finishers!


Remember you can pitch a tent or sleep in your motorhome at the start finish area – it’s a community reserve and camping is not typically allowed – we are very lucky, it’s a perfect place to camp so $10 per person per night is a great donation to the Luggate community.


Prise giving 10am Sunday Morning at the Luggate Hotel – plunger coffee and a couple of pastries provided.


See you Friday!

Terry Davis

Highland Events Ltd

021 284 6844

Start: End of Kingan Road. Luggate. – There will be a Port-a-loo at the start. 3am start.

Leg 1 to Albert Town, map (last 13ks of this map)Map to aid station and relay change. 14km from the start. First basic Aid station. Relay change over. Good public access.

Leg 2: to Roys Peak car park. Photos, map. 15km from Albert Town. Full aid station. Relay change leg 2. Drop bags number 1. Good public Access

Leg 3: to Cardrona Valley. Photos, map. 23km from Roys Peak car park. Water and pies half way (Mt Alpha) Full aid station at Cardrona Valley. Relay change point, Drop bag number 2. Good public access. Need to leave the Cardrona aid station by 12.30pm

Leg 4: to Snow Farm Lodge. Photos, map. (Note – map goes to Bob lee hut – new course now goes back to the snow farm lodge)

22km from Cardrona Valley. Water half way. Full aid station at Snow Farm Lodge. Relay change point, Drop bag number 3. Public access via a 12k wide dirt mountain road. Need to leave the lodge by 5.30pm.

Leg 5: to the  Finish (Luggate). Map . 33km – Full aid station after 14km just past Sally’s Pinch, another water station 10km from the finish. Finish has food and refreshments. (No public access along this last section of the course).

Aid stations- Full- electrolyte, water, chips/pretzels, bananas, lollies. Basic- water. Drop bags must be clearly marked with race # and name. These need to be packed and left at the start/finish area on Friday night.

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