UPCOMING EVENTS

Visit Running Calendar New Zealand 

For the latest updates on upcoming trail runs around New Zealand

New Zealand Mountain Running Championships, Saturday 20 August 2022

Deer Park Heights, Queenstown

Takes place all day Saturday. For full details >> NZ Mountain Running Champs 2022

The Great Naseby Waterrace, 24 August 2022

Naseby, South Island, New Zealand

This unique ultramarathon event takes place near Naseby – the highest town in New Zealand at 2000ft. Naseby is 15km north-west by road from Ranfurly and 145km north-west (via Middlemarch) from Dunedin. It is held on the last Weekend of August each year.

Visit the race website >> The Great Naseby Water Race

COMPLETED EVENTS

Mount Difficulty Ascent, Saturday, 11 June 2022

Mt Difficulty, Bannockburn, near Cromwell

For more details on this event >> Mount Difficulty Ascent 2022

For results >> Mount Difficulty Ascent 2022 results

Croydon Paton: “Sadly short coursed. climbing was easy. holding back for the 1000m climb. only to be turned right instead of left back up and over nipple hill. running down the 800m of tarmac on the course I pulled a muscle in my glute and grovelled to the finish complete with an ignominious slip and fall in the clay bog in the tailings. Great fun up in the snow.” 

Great photos by Croydon Paton in collage

Andrew Lonie first Leith athlete home

Leith’s Andrew Lonie had an incredible run as he and the other 146 competitors battled through ankle deep snow. He finished as first Vet Man and sixth overall in 2 hours 56 minutes 44 seconds and was the first Leith athlete to finish. The weather was so extreme that for safety reasons the 44km was switched to the 25km as well as the mountain top, which was too extreme

Mt Difficulty Ascent 25km, Overall results
Leith and friends in bold

1 Elliott, Hamish Open (19-39) M 2:33:29
2 Anderson, Tom Open (19-39) M 2:54:36
3 Manderson, Janek Open (19-39) M 2:55:48
4 Linscott, Oliver Open (19-39) M 2:56:26
5 Latham, Lewis Open (19-39) M 2:56:34
6 Lonie, Andrew Vet1 (40-49) M 2:56:44 Leith
53 McLean, Lydia Open (19-39) F 3:55:13
74 Paton, Croydon Vet2 (50-59) M 4:14:35
81 Liddell, David Open (19-39) M 4:24:03
90 Tripp, Isaac Open (19-39) M 4:36:49
93 Caulton, Sarah Open (19-39) F 4:38:02 Leith
92 Tripp, Andrew Vet2 (50-59) M 4:56:22

97 McLean, Dave Vet3 (60+) M 4:41:17 Leith

David Liddell says it was an epic day out!

Was an epic day out! I did the 44km last year and didn’t do so well with injury problems where I couldn’t bend my leg for the last 20km so I came back this year wanting to make a good time. Unfortunately as you know the course was shortened but this did not take away from the stunning beauty of the run but added to it with the extreme weather bearing down on everyone!

In times of extremes I feel the sense that everyone suddenly has an unspoken bond as you are sharing an extraordinary adventure together. I find this with any event but particularly with Mt Difficulty, purely just because how extreme the environment is.

The main highlight for me would usually be the epic climb but today I think the most amazing part was running the water race as it was deep in snow and was snowing quite hard but had an almost airy still to it as it seemed to be sheltered from the wind.

This time, like the last, I had a plethora of problems with missing gear and not taking my phone so got no photos but the most annoying part was when I slipped over and popped my water bladder all down my back, this led to problems later on as I got dehydrated and started to cramp quite badly. Because of this I think I was lucky to be short coursed. Another incident was my long John’s kept falling down so I had to put on a bit of a strip show to get out of them into shorts.

Please do not take these issues as complaints , I think these minor issues are all part of the experience of any challenging race and believe that they should be cherished, or even laughed at, as they are just as important as the good parts. I think the pain is what drives a lot of us to do these things! I will definitely be back next year for another attempted at the 44km!

Highly recommended

Thank you,
David Liddell

Rustic Run or Walk, Saturday, 11 June 2022

Mt Difficulty, Bannockburn, near Cromwell

For results >> Rustic Run or Walk 2022 results

Bryan Staunton, fresh from the Joe Cowie 8km in Dunedin, went to colder climes to tackle the Rustic Run Half-Marathon.  He finished fourth 1 Hour 56 minutes 42 seconds

Leith or Leith friends in bold

1 Warren, Hayden Open (19-39) 1:33:57″
4 Staunton, Bryan Open (19-39) 1:56:42 Leith
19 Goldsmith, Sarah Vet1 (40-49) 3:27:27

Millenium Track Club Run, Sat 4 June 2022

Taieri River Millennium track

Lydia Pattillo gives a beautiful description of the trail run on Saturday

A small group of keen runners and walkers took on the challenge of the Taieri River Millennium track.
Treated to stunning conditions and a surprise rowing regatta to spectate at the beginning of our run, the afternoon was more than picture perfect.
The hills seemed to continue to climb on every turn and many of us began to question the “undulating” description of the trail. However we battled our way up the final big climb to the reward of a stunning view in all directions.
A quick regroup and photoshoot then we were off on the downward section to Taieri Mouth. Arriving in just under an hour we were all pretty pooped and a little daunted by the task of running all the way back.
Nevertheless we took off again before the sundown could beat us and were all surprised to find ourselves at the peak elevation with a little more ease than we had in the first half. Another regroup, then an easy plod back up and down the hills to the Henley side to finish in continued stunning scenes. Absolute serenity with only the peaceful sound of nature as our chorus.
Highly recommend as a great trail run; challenging in parts and caution required in winter or wet but it was deemed by the group as “perfect three peaks training”

Shunters and Grunters Relay, Sat 30 April 2022

Otago Rail Trail, Old Hyde Railway station to the Waipiata Railway Station (Tavern)

This is a 4 person relay along the Historic Otago Central Rail Trail
This event has now taken place
For full results >> Shunters and Grunters Relay

Milford Track Run, Sat 23 April 2022

Milford Track & Milford Sound, South Island, Dunedin

Hayden Scorringe recounts their adventure on the Milford Track on ANZAC weekend

This whole idea came about almost out of the blue, a person who I had never met (Rob Hutchings) posted on the Wild Things NZ Trail Running Group Facebook page that he was going to swim Milford Sound (15km) and then Run Milford Track (55-58km) over Easter and was inviting people to join him. I wasn’t keen on the swim, but wow. However, the run sounded great and I am lucky to be at the right level of fitness to attempt this.

Logistically, this run is not easy. At a minimum, you need a boat trip at end each. Instantly that means you have a deadline – ours was 10 hours. Also, there is about 100km from where the first boat departs (Milford) and the other boat docks (Te Anau Downs), so again another logistical issue.

One week prior to the run, there were to be 6 runners, however, life and covid got in the way of a couple and we were down to 4.

Four almost complete strangers (Rob Stent, Heinrich Eksteen, Neil Trimboy and myself) off on the run of a lifetime. We left Te Anau just after 5am where we headed to Milford to catch our 7.30am boat to the start of the track. We were lucky to have a volunteer driver for this trip, who then dropped our car back at Te Anau Downs and stashed the key for us to collect later – best idea ever. The first boat ride was all of 5 minutes, so by 7.40 we were on track and away running.

Plenty of stops along the way, but nothing too long as we know we had a 5pm boat to meet at the other end. That gave us just over 9 hours. We four strangers all seemed to be about the same level of fitness and were running well for the first 20km or so.
We got to the intersection of the turn off to Sutherland Falls (New Zealand’s highest waterfall) and a decision had to be made as the run in and out to the waterfall would add 45min – 1 hour to our trip. Whilst the boat would be ready at 5pm, it would wait for us for $140 per hour. Neil and I decided this was a once in a lifetime trip, the weather was perfect and the price was worth paying.
We would then re join with the other 2 at the next main hut. This was a great decision as the waterfall was amazing!!

Once back to the main track, the terrain gets a lot more technical and steep. The climb up to the top of Mackinnon pass was tough and slow going. Once over the pass I thought we would easily make up some time on the decent. However, the terrain wasn’t too friendly. Very easy to slip, or twist an ankle, so we took it easy down here. Neil and I rejoined with Rob and Heinrich at Mintaro Hut, they had only been there for about 15 minutes, so we had made good time over the pass.

The last 20km or so was amazing, really nice trails, heaps of waterfalls and the pace got faster than 6min per km (at times).
However, it soon became clear that we were not going to make it to the boat by 5pm and would have to pay for the extra hour wait time. We ended up arriving at Glade Warf just before 6pm, all of us with some unforgettable memories and massive smiles.

All in all a truly once in a lifetime adventure, no rain, minimal clouds and warm enough for just a tee shirt.

Valuable info:

The average run time is around 10 hours (however, has been done in under 6!) 
Allow at least 2 hours to get from Te Anau to Milford
First boat, Milford to start of track – 7.30am Milford Track Water Taxi $40 each – the most expensive 5 min boat ride ever but not a lot of options here.
Second boat, Glade Warf to Te Anau Downs – 5pm Fiordland Outdoors $90 each – is an hour long trip, so much better value for money 🙂
Also, if you are well organised, you can arrange to drop a bag off to the boat head office prior and it will be waiting for you at Glade Warf – clean clothes and a beer or 2 would have been nice.
Hire car (7 seater) – Rad Hire Te Anau $89 per day, but can hire from 730pm-730pm so only one day

Humpridge Running Mission, Sat April 23rd 2022, Anzac Weekend 2022

The Tuatapere Hump Ridge Track is a 3 day loop walk that takes hikers along the south coast of New Zealand, up to the sub-alpine zone of the Hump Ridge, and over historic viaducts in the heart of native forest

Nolan Hill has written a detailed expressive story along with stunning photographs, things that go wrong and right, of the Threesome Humpridge Day Trek – featuring Brendon Ojala, Jono Bell, Nolan Hill

Read all about it here >>Humpridge Mission Report April 23rd 2022 Nolan Hill

Autumn Rogaine, Highland Events, Sat 23 April 2022

Lindis Valley, Central Otago, New Zealand
For more on this event including full results >> Autumn Rogaine, Sat 23 April 2022

Chantal Whitby’s and Masha Mikhisor’s excellent write-up about their experience in the Autumn Rogaine

On Saturday Masha and I set out on a 12 hour rogaine in the Lindis Valley, held by Highland Events.

When we arrived we marked out our planned route, which quickly went out the window, with us deciding to just make it up as we went along.

Unsurprisingly this didn’t turn out to be the best tactic and come nightfall our focus changed from getting controls to getting back to base before the cutoff. Which we did, with a few minutes to spare!

While we might not have gained the most points, we had an amazing time soaking in the beautiful scenery, running under the stars and bantering with other competitors. Our hard efforts were also rewarded by an awesome hot meal at the end, put on by the local school as a fundraiser. We did 37.6km and 1748m of climbing (although it felt like much more!).

Big shout out to Terry and Stephanie for another great event, it’s these types of events that enable people to get out and enjoy special locations which wouldn’t be possible otherwise. Bring on their 24 hour rogaine in November, in Te Anau!

Three Peaks Mountain Race, Sunday, 27 March 2022

Dunedin, New Zealand

Organised by the Leith Harrier & Athletic Club, Dunedin

For results and race report on this iconic event go to Three Peaks Mountain Race

Three Peaks Orientation Run #2, Sunday 13 March 2022

George Street entrance to Woodhaugh Gardens, Dunedin

26km Orientation Run 2- March 13 – 9am at George St entrance to Woodhaugh
Some 40 or so keen runners fronted up at 9am on Sunday morning for the second and final orientation run of the 2022 Three Peaks 26km Mountain Race.  The runners headed up Leith Valley to join the second part of the 26km course (and last 2 legs of 55km).  Up Leith Valley they went turning off at the over bridge into the City Forest section heading up to the top of Mt Cargill via the government track and bush and forest and Cowan Road. Then they went down to the race finish via Bethunes Gully past Chingford Park and down North Road to finish again at Woodhaugh Gardens. A distance of approximately 20km. We had Danny Baillie leading the faster group of runners, Race Director Steve Tripp lead the slower group of runners whilst Marc Boullé was the tail end charlie ensuring that the last person could run/walk at their own pace and did not get left behind.  In the end everyone thoroughly enjoyed the day out in perfect weather that never threatened to get too hot.  A cool North Easterly provided welcome relief.  Thanks to all who took part and to the organisers and pack leaders.  Now for the real thing on March 27.  Good luck to all those taking part in this big event.

Three Peaks Orientation Run #1, Sunday 6 March 2022

Start George Street entrance to Woodhaugh Gardens, Dunedin

Despite Covid-19 having an impact on numbers, some 35 keen runners took part in this event, which took in the first part of the 26km course up Flagstaff, Swampy, down Morrisons and then back down Leith Valley Rd to the start. Approximately 20km. It was a leisurely run where we all enjoyed the spectacular scenery and got to know the course and have fun at the same time. The weather was gloriously sunny if not a bit hot with a high of 27 degrees Celsius.  The tracks were dry except for the chute section which was a tad boggy.  The group split up into three packs eventually, with Danny Baillie leading the faster runners, Mark O’Neill the medium pace runners and Marc Boullé acting as tail-end-charlie for the slower runners.  No runners were left behind. Thanks to the leaders and the participants for making this a great day out up there on the hills.  On the track up towards Swampy Summit we met Chris Sole and Dave McLean enthusiastically clearing the track of undergrowth in preparation for the big day on the 27 March.  Big ups to them for tackling this tough crucial task under the hot sun

Pigs Backyard Ultra, 10am February 12, 2022

Silverstream reserve, Whare Flat, Dunedin

John Bayne 188.87km, Glenn Thompson 100.65km, Harjinder Singh Chander 80.52km, Dave McLean 26.84km were among the Leith athletes competing

For more details and results >> Pigs Backyard Ultra Website

Chantal’s wonderful Pigs Backyard story

includes a great photograph taken by Brad Spiers

“One afternoon I absent-mindedly put my name down to go in the draw to win a free entry to the inaugural Pigs Backyard Ultra. After I clicked submit I didn’t think much about it until I received an email congratulating me on winning a free entry!

My initial thought was, oh crap. Followed by excitement that I could be part of a new, local event (still accompanied by a slight feeling of trepidation).

I’ve been battling a few injuries over the last year but still really wanted to be part of the race. I knew it would be an incredible event, with great running community vibes, supportive like-minded people, and something not to be missed. I wasn’t disappointed.

However, after struggling to walk after 4km into the race I thought that was it, a DNF after my first lap but I couldn’t bring myself to do it and lined up in the corral for ‘just one more lap’. My plan was to walk the second lap and accept that I wouldn’t make it back for the cut-off.

Much to my surprise my pain started to subside the further I walked, to a point where I managed to jog-walk the rest of the loop within the hour. By the time I was into lap three I was back mainly running, with my pain becoming less and less the further I went. After not running after months it felt phenomenal, you couldn’t wipe the smile off of my face. In the end it was my fitness (or lack of) which got me but I’m happy to take that.

I didn’t think running in circles was for me but I’m already looking forward to giving it another shot next year. Such a fabulous event with amazing people. Thanks Steve and Chris for another wicked running adventure!”

Dave McLean – The “Old Man” of the Race 

by Dave McLean

As the old man of the race I managed four laps but the old knee got a bit grumpy and stopped me from carrying on. It’s all good now. Andy Smith needed a bit of a hand, so I volunteered, not knowing he was set to do a miler. He didn’t know that at that stage either. It just happened! I learned how much easier supporting is than racing. I was tucked up in my nice warm sleeping bag while he was out there in the dark and the cold each lap! Glad I did it. The magnificent seven crossing the 100 mile line was awesome. Magnificent six would not have been quite the same. Big hand to Steve Tripp and Chris Taylor for one awesome event, and also to every single person who took part, competing or supporting. Will I be back next year? You bet!

Kepler Challenge and Luxmore Grunt, Saturday 15 January 2022

Kepler Track in Fiordland National Park

For full details and full results >> Kepler Challenge & Luxmore Grunt Facebook 

Kepler Challenge 60km

Leith’s Jason Palmer was the leading Leith athlete finishing 11th overall, 9th in the Open Grade, 10th Male, in a very good time of 5 hours 50 minutes 14 seconds.  Richard Campbell was the next Leith athlete to finish.  He finished in 37th place overall, 25th in the Open Category, 32nd Male, in 6 hours 40 minutes 41 seconds.  Next was John Bayne who finished in 56th place overall, 3rd in the Veteran 50+ category, 45th Male in 6 hours 59 minutes 44 seconds.  Then came Nicola Chisholm in 136th place overall, 29th in the Open Category, 39th Female, in 8 hours 1 minute 12 seconds.  Next was Hayden Scorringe in 141 place overall, 64th in the Open Category, 100th Male in 8 hours 4 minutes 39 seconds.  Next was Glenn Thompson who finished in 145th overall, 65th in the Open Category, 103rd Male, in 8 hours 7 minutes 1 second. Then next was Croydon Paton who finished in 159th place overall, 15th Veteran 50+, 111th Male, in 8 hours 16 minutes 6 seconds.

Luxmore Grunt 27km

Michael Pullar Leith affiliated athlete finished in 30th place overall, 23rd in the Open Category, 23 Male, in 2 hours 38 minutes 20 seconds.

Hayden Scorringe reflects on his 8:04 Kepler Challenge 60km run

About 400 runners set off at 6am on the lakeshore of Te Anau. Full of energy and running freely. The first 5km is reasonably flat – a very nice flowing trail. After that it gets significantly harder to Luxmore hut, thinking the worst is mostly behind you – wrong. The track gets rocky and even steeper. 

A couple of false summits and then the descent starts and feels like it never ends! Although I was trying to hold back here it still kills the quads as you descend for ages! It seemed to take an age to get to Iris Burn hut. From here apparently the track is flat 🤣. Definitely not! 

The last half of the race is all very undulating, and I really struggled to get into a rhythm. The last 15-20k I was running on empty. Maybe a lack of training? 

I had great intentions of trying to push a bit harder on the last 5km but my legs said no. All in all, stoked to tick another massive challenge off the list. 

If I didn’t stop to take so many bloody photos I would have hit my goal time too 🤔 

 

Jason Palmer’s Kepler Challenge 60km – a real bucket list race!

The Kepler was a race that I had wanted to do for several years, a real bucket list race. The remoteness of the course, the adventure, the altitude all appealed to me.

The race started at 6.00am in the morning and the pace went out at what I thought was a good speed. I held back as I was aware that there was plenty of ground still to cover. I reached the bottom of the climb to Luxmore and settled into a nice rhythm up the hill. I knew from my training that I wanted to reach Luxmore Hut in approximately 80 minutes. I passed a significant number of athletes up the climb and reached the hut alongside three-time race winner Nancy Jiang in 79 minutes.

After the gear check I made my way over the top past the two emergency shelters. This section was the most difficult for me as I wasn’t used to the loose gravel and uneven terrain. I found that I was consistently getting passed by other athletes over this section, however, I didn’t want to risk a broken ankle, therefore I held back.

After a gruelling descent, I reached Irisburn Hut with a group of five athletes. With 32km to go, I knew that this was the section where I would do well. I settled into a nice rhythm through the checkpoint at Rocky Point and eventually at Motorau Hut. From there I knew that I had 6km to go until I reached Rainbow Reach where Megan and the girls were waiting.

After I passed the girls, I knew I had 9km to go so I gave it everything. I managed to pass three more athletes along this section. Crossing the control gates and the finish line was an amazing feeling. The goal was sub 6 hours, I managed 5.50 and a 10th place finish which I was stoked with.

This is a must do race for anyone who is after an adventure. My advice for training would be not to count the miles you run each week, don’t stress about NOT meeting weekly goals. Go out and run in the hills and have fun – the fitness is a by-product. Oh and having a really supportive partner helps as well.