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XTERRA Trail Challenge – Waihi

4 races scheduled · Sat 17th Nov 2018 · Karangahake
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About this event

Kick off your summer race season with this epic trail series across the Karanghake Gorge. Great all levels of trail runner, each distance takes you past waterfalls, through tunnels and across bridges. Come along for the finisher's medal and photo opportunities.

Raceday details
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Our story is a pretty simple one. Born in 2000, the journey has been an interesting, challenging and enlightening one, where somewhere along the way our mantra became “Great Events, Stunning Locations”. We are a small team of like-minded people who share a passionate belief in creating opportunities for people from all walks of life to experience some of the most stunning landscapes on offer in New Zealand, this wonderful adventure playground we get to call home. We are energised and rewarded by being able to create a positive, welcoming and non-threatening environment for people to share, connect & inspire through adventure. Seeing people come together to challenge themselves amidst the energising outdoors is what gets us out of bed each and every day. Put another way, it’s our “Why”. We are a company focused on creating quality, meaningful event experiences for everyday people with everyday challenges.

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How to enter

What's included:

Prize Giving

Prizegiving will take place at the event base (Dickey Flat Camp Ground) at 1.30pm. Trophies will be given to the overall race winners, male and female, for each of the race options.

Hang around and enjoy the day until its prize giving time!

Note: Marathon participants will also receive finish medals at the finish line.

Prize Money/World Champs

Contested over the 20.5km Long Course (overall):

  • 1st Male and Female $300 + Entry into the XTERRA World Champs
  • 2nd Male and Female $200 + Entry into the XTERRA World Champs
  • 3rd Male and Female $100 + Entry into the XTERRA World Champs

Trophies

Super Long Course:

  • 1st Male/Female

Long Course (Nz Trail Championship):

  • 1st Male/Female Walk
  • 1st Male/Female Run

Mid Course:

  • 1st Male/Female Walk
  • 1st Male/Female Run

Short Course:

  • 1st Male/Female Walk
  • 1st Male/Female Run
1 / 2
Marathon Course
12:00am Sat 17th Nov 2018

Run 43.5km

Long Course
12:00am Sat 17th Nov 2018

Run 20.5km

Mid Course
12:00am Sat 17th Nov 2018

Run 13km

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What people think
5.0
3 reviews
Denis
Star
5.0
Did the Marathon Course in 2018
Overall very well organised. Great course, really well marked.Only thing that was frustrating was getting caught behind hundreds of back runners in the second half of the race. It meant waiting to go through the tunnel, waiting to get on the bridges. And also trying to pass hundreds of runners on narrow trails in the second half wasn't ideal. If it was run in the opposite direction, ie.we did the 2nd half first, you could avoid that. But great race, I'd definitely come back. … read more
David
Star
5.0
Did the Long Course in 2018
The course is even more amazing and beautiful than Total Sport describe it and their description is pretty amazing! Running along the river gorge is like a jog through paradise. The long tunnel is fun (watch your head!) and then its onto the climb. Its a tough old grind but I found I could run almost all of it. A real buzz of a downhill and youre not too far from home. Just some more Riverside Running and around the campground to finish it off. A relaxed but buzzy atmosphere at base helped by an energetic and fun MC. Cant recommend this race highly enough - youll have a blast!!… read more
Chris
Star
5.0
Did the Long Course in 2018
Pre-race info was good. You do however need to have done some specific training for this event, as it is quite challenging even if you take it slowly! Very well organised and I never felt lost or alone. Lots of refreshments. It had to be so well organised as it would have been a disaster had it not been.… read more
Questions

What's on your mind? Past attendees and our team will be happy to answer your questions and help you prepare.

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Route description
Route description

Location:

Karangahake Gorge, Waihi

Famous for its gold mining – both past and present – the township of Waihi is located at the foot of the Coromandel Peninsula, approx 1 hr 45 min drive from Auckland CBD, an hour from Hamilton and 45 minutes from Tauranga.

The town has a resident population of approx 4,500 people and is known as New Zealand’s Heart of Gold – for reasons that will become plainly obvious when you arrive!

The event itself will be based in and around the historic Karangahake Gorge which has a myriad of old tramping, rail and tramway tracks completely surrounded in native bush.

The XTERRA Trail Challenge Waihi has an event for everyone from the casual weekly walker who wants to come and have a great weekend on some spectacular trails, to the slightly more serious and/or competitive runners. It’s going to be an awesome day on the trails!

Course Details:

Trail Tiger – Be a Total Sport ‘TRAIL TIGER’!

Each ‘Tiger Troop’ will navigate their way around a short course at the event base or a derivative of that. Numbers are limited. Register as usual through our online registration system. They will be in sight at all times as they complete each loop of the course and it is required for a parent to be present at this time.

Course: Trail Tigers will do two laps of a short course around the event base or a derivative of that, how much they do depend on how they are feeling and will be able to stop whenever they wish.

How Long: Two laps of the course or less if they wish.

Short Course

Distance: 8.2km

Course Elevation: 130m

Course: This little firecracker is packed with surprises. Be patient, however – shortly off the start line you arrive at a couple of swing-bridges: these are load-limited and WALKING ONLY, so be prepared to wait your turn.

Meandering through beautiful native forest beside the rushing Waitawheta River, there is plenty to keep you entertained: listen for native birds, look for mining relics and admire the dramatic gorge.

Well into the Gorge, you pass through two historic tunnels which give the Windows Walk it’s name – openings cut into the tunnel walls allowed gold miners toss the tailings (wastage) into the Waitawheta river below. HEADTORCHES are compulsory and it is strictly WALKING ONLY through the tunnels, please.

Reaching the aid station at the end of the Windows Walk, turn and retrace your steps albeit with a short loop variation around mining ruins: rambling along the tramway past abandoned carts and Battery ruins are a reminder of days gone by when a bustling community hummed and thrived. Gaze across the Gorge to the Historic Crown Tramway Track, now permanently abandoned. Return over the bridges and as the rushing sound of the Waitawheta River fades away, loop around Dicky Flat Campsite and head to our picturesque finish line.

Road/Trail used:  Windows Walk Track.

Drink Stations: At approx 4.2km – please do not rely on this aid station, this is a back-up only. You should come prepared with anything you might need while out there.

Mid Course

Distance: 13km

Course Elevation: 470m

Course Overview: The mid course has got it all – native bush; gorge and valley views; swing-bridges, tunnels and relics. Contain your excitement on the start line – there are plenty of opportunities to open up along this course.

Shortly after leaving the start line you reach two swing-bridges: these are load-limited and WALKING ONLY, please, so wait your turn. Warm the legs up through stunning native bush along the Windows Walk but watch your feet: it can be rocky and slippery underfoot.

The thundering Waitawheta River keeps you company as you pass through two tunnels that give the Windows Walk its name – openings cut in the tunnel walls allowed gold miners to throw the tailings (wastage) into the Waitawheta River. HEADTORCHES are compulsory for the tunnel sections and they are strictly WALKING ONLY, please.

Leaving the first aid station, take the swing-bridge across to the right side of the Gorge where you duck up through the delightful little Scotsman Gully and pop out onto County Road where you can really stretch out. After the next drink station you will begin to climb on the Number 7 Level Track: get into a solid rhythm but keep your head up as occasional breaks in the foliage reward with magnificent views down to the Gorge. Continue past Dubbo 96 Track to the turnaround: reaching Dubbo 96 again, you turn right and descend steeply back towards the base. Your legs will be happy to rejoin the Windows Walk for a final short stretch before a loop around Dickey’s Flat returns you to our picturesque finish line.

Road/Trail used: Windows Walk, Crown Track, Scotsmans Gully Track, Number 7 Level Track, and Dubbo 96 Track.

Drink Stations: At approx 4km and 6km – please do not rely on these aid stations, they are there as a back-up only. You should come prepared with anything you might need while out there.

Long Course – National Trail Running Champs & World XTERRA Champs

The National Trail Running Champions will be crowned over the Long Course (20.5km) event. The top three male and female overall will receive a free entry into the XTERRA Trail Running World Championship and prize money.

The XTERRA Trail Running World Championship is an off-road half-marathon scheduled for 2nd December 2018 on the Hawaiian island of Oahu. The event will also host 5km and 10km trail runs, a free OC 16 kids race, an adventure walk, great food and stunning scenery. Some of the world’s fastest trail runners will be on site competing for $10,000 in prize money which is awarded to the top 7 men and women.

Distance: 20.5km

Course Elevation: 980m

Course Overview: Hotly contested as part of the National Trail Running Champs, the Long Course offers both challenge and opportunities to bust out some speed – but take it easy off the start line, immediately after leaving Event Base you approach two swing-bridges: these are load-limited and WALKING ONLY: please wait your turn.

Warm up on the stunning Windows Walk beside the tumultous Waitawheta River: watch for mining ruins and relics as you speed by. Your route takes in two tunnels that give the track it’s name – gold miners would throw the tailings (wastage) out the windows into the Waitawheta River as they mined. HEADTORCHES are compulsory and the tunnels are strictly WALKING ONLY, please.

The first aid station awaits at the end of the Windows Walk: cross the swing-bridge and head up and left into delightful Scotsman Gully, a short, steep climb to get the legs functioning. Stretch out on County Road before the climbing begins in earnest – after the second drink station – as you begin to circle the mountain on the Number 7 Level Track. Settle into a steady rhythm up this gradual climb and keep an eye out for occasional glimpses down into the magnificent Waitawheta Gorge.

Continue climbing on the Number 7 Level Track past Dubbo 96 track: the views get better as you climb higher! Making your way around the back of Karangahake Mountain, prepare for a screaming (though slippery) descent: turn right again back onto County Road to reach the drink station just around the bend. Back onto the Number 7 Level Track, but this time turn left and get ready for another storming descent, this time on Dubbo 96 Track.

At the bottom, your homing instincts and the sound of finish line revelry will turn you right and after recrossing the swing-bridges, there is a final opportunity for flat, fast running around Dicky Flat and across our picturesque finish line.

Road/trails used: Crown Track, Windows Walk, Scotsmans Gully Track, Number 7 Level Track, Karangahake Mountain Track and Dubbo 96 Track

Drink Stations: Approx 4km, 6km and 15km – please do not rely on these aid stations, they are there as a back-up only. You should come prepared with anything you might need while out there.

Super Long Course

Distance: 41km

Course Elevation: 1500m

Course Overview: The return of the originally marathon course! A good, honest trail marathon that isn’t for the faint hearted, but rewards those who are brave enough with bucket loads of stoke!

You head south of the event base, to begin with (opposite to all other courses), following the Waitawheta River on a relatively technical single track. You’ll cross the river early on (2kms) so don’t worry too much about any mud or puddles after the start.

The trail continues on up into the native bush and eventually, you’ll drop down Dean Track to more views of the Waitawheta River, and your first aid station. A short flat section along Franklin Road and through the private property will take you back into the bush and back into the water as you cross the Waitawheta again.

From there you climb a steep hill on the Kauri Grove Track, drop down the other side, and pass through the river to your second aid station. From there, you return towards the event base on Daly’s Clearing Track with more quality native bush lined single track all the way.

Your third aid station is behind the event base and offers a great opportunity for your support crew/fans/family to check in. Immediately after leaving Event Base you approach two swing-bridges: these are load-limited and WALKING ONLY: please wait your turn.

Then you are into the Windows Walk beside the tumultuous Waitawheta River once more: watch for mining ruins and relics as you pass by. Your route takes in two tunnels that give the track its name – gold miners would throw the tailings (wastage) out the windows into the Waitawheta River as they mined. HEADTORCHES are compulsory and the tunnels are strictly WALKING ONLY, please.

The fourth aid station awaits at the end of the Windows Walk: cross the swing-bridge and head up and left into delightful Scotsman Gully, a short, steep climb to test the endurance. Stretch out a little on County Road before the climbing begins in earnest – after the fifth drink station – as you begin to circle the mountain on the Number 7 Level Track. Settle into a steady rhythm up this gradual climb and keep an eye out for occasional glimpses down into the magnificent Waitawheta Gorge.

Continue climbing on the Number 7 Level Track past Dubbo 96 track: the views get better as you climb higher! Making your way around the back of Karangahake Mountain, prepare for a screaming (though slippery) descent: turn right again back onto County Road to reach the drink station just around the bend. Back onto the Number 7 Level Track, but this time turn left and get ready for another storming technical descent, this time on the famed Dubbo 96 Track.

At the bottom, your homing instincts and the sound of finish line revelry will turn you right and after re-crossing the swing-bridges, there is a final opportunity for flat, fast (if you’ve got anything left) running around Dicky Flat and across our picturesque finish line.

Roads/Trails Used: Crown Track, Windows Walk, Scotsman Gully Track, Number 7 Level Track, Karangahake Mountain Track, Dubbo 96 Track, Karangahake Gorge Historic Walkway, Rail Tunnel Loop.

Drink Stations: Approx 8.2km, 12.8km, 22km, 26km, 28km, 36km – please do not rely on these aid stations, they are there as a back-up only. You should come prepared with anything you might need while out there.

Cut-off times:

  • Midday at the event base (22km)
  • 1.30pm at the top of Dubbo’s Track (29km – with the option to head down Dubbos Track and not complete the loop around the mountain – but still finish)
Denis
Star
5.0
Did the Marathon Course in 2018
Overall very well organised. Great course, really well marked.Only thing that was frustrating was getting caught behind hundreds of back runners in the second half of the race. It meant waiting to go through the tunnel, waiting to get on the bridges. And also trying to pass hundreds of runners on narrow trails in the second half wasn't ideal. If it was run in the opposite direction, ie.we did the 2nd half first, you could avoid that. But great race, I'd definitely come back.
David
Star
5.0
Did the Long Course in 2018
The course is even more amazing and beautiful than Total Sport describe it and their description is pretty amazing! Running along the river gorge is like a jog through paradise. The long tunnel is fun (watch your head!) and then its onto the climb. Its a tough old grind but I found I could run almost all of it. A real buzz of a downhill and youre not too far from home. Just some more Riverside Running and around the campground to finish it off. A relaxed but buzzy atmosphere at base helped by an energetic and fun MC. Cant recommend this race highly enough - youll have a blast!!
Chris
Star
5.0
Did the Long Course in 2018
Pre-race info was good. You do however need to have done some specific training for this event, as it is quite challenging even if you take it slowly! Very well organised and I never felt lost or alone. Lots of refreshments. It had to be so well organised as it would have been a disaster had it not been.
5.0
3 reviews
Rate this event
Logistics and schedule

Buses will run at the following times from the Rugby Club to Event Base

Marathon
Bus Time – 6:15

Briefing Time – 7:15
Start Time – 7:30

Long Course
Bus Time -7:30

Briefing Time – 8:45
Start Time – 9:00

Mid Course
Bus Time – 8:20
Briefing Time – 9:30

Start Time – 9:45

Short Course
Bus Time – 9:10
Briefing Time – 10:15

Start Time – 10:30

You may get on an earlier Bus if you wish to travel with family/friends, however, priority will be given to participants of the specified event.

Return buses will run approximately every half hour from 11 am until 4 pm, these don’t need to be booked, just hop on when you are ready to go home!

Spectators

Spectators are welcome on all buses.

In the event that a bus gets full,  priority will be given to participants who need to be on a time specific bus but spectators can then hop on the next available bus.

How to get there

8011 SH 2, Karangahake 3674, New Zealand

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It was a a very wet winter in Waihi, which unfortunately means our prefered parking paddocks by Event Base are soaking wet!    So you all get a bonus free scenic bus ride to the start line!

Parking will be at Waihi Athletic Rugby Club, 111 Kenny Street, Waihi.

Car Pooling

Cars with 4+ people will get priority parking in the limited parking we have available next to Event Base at Dickey Flat Campsite.

There are a limited number of these available and will be checked by parking Marshals on the day.

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