As at 14 January 2018
Leg 1: MT ERIN (distance 15.1 km, 597m of total elevation gain)
Participants on leg 1 will depart Havelock North Village en masse, and be guided through the streets of Havelock North, passing the cemetery which is a good reminder of why we do this stuff. At the end of Kopanga Road we will enter our first farm; Kopanga Station. The climb is steady and all runnable or ridable until near the top of the valley, where there is a couple of short, small pinch climbs. These will be bike carries and the runners will be down to a walk. Almost all the climb is on parts of the farm that has not been used before. New terrain!
Then there is the standard fun fast decent to the river and transition. This is the shortest leg but has the largest proportion climbing, and a river crossing.
Leg 2: MT KAHURANAKI (distance 22.2 kms, 848m of total elevation gain)
Leg 2 starts with a gentle climb from the Tukituki River transition heading south along Rochfort Road (not north, as per previous years), continuing across farmland to emerge opposite the gates to Kahuranaki Station. This portion of the leg is 5.5 km of easy unsealed road, farm track and a little open farmland. You will return to transition using the same route after climbing and descending the hill. The climb to the top is also a completely new route traveling the south west and south sides of this big beautiful lump.
I managed to ride all the ascent apart from the last 50 m which again is a bike carry. From the top a compulsory 30 second break will be necessary to take in the magnificent 360˚ views. Truly worth the climb. Then back down, again on a completely new track. So, from the top, back to transition is all downhill apart 3 or 4 wee bumps. A fast return back to transition.
Leg 3: TE MATA PEAK (distance 18.9 km, 579 m of total elevation gain)
Participants on leg 3 will ''take the baton'' at the Rochfort Rd transition then cross the Tukituki River again, traverse a little bit of farmland, a riverside farm track and then the end of Matangi Road on the western side of the Tukituki. This part is flatish and fast.
Upon reaching the cattle yards you will turn left and head up the steep pitch as per usual before ascending to the 399m trig. Via farm tracks and fun single track. The descent off the Peak will be different for walkers/runners and riders, to comply with Te Mata Park rules, but will be in similar areas of the Park. Seriously awesome single track for runners, riders and walkers. We will then rejoin a combined route through the exit of Te Mata Park,down to Hikanui Reserve and through Tainui Reserve - to exit through Keith Sands Grove before a small road section (down Joll Rd) to the finish outside Porters Hotel.
So, in summary, Leg 1 will cross the river and get their feet wet. Leg 2 will remain completely dry. And leg 3 will cross the river too. Both transitions points are located in the same place, at Rochfort Rd on the Tukituki River.
An easy peasy (ahem) total of 56.2 km, a little bit longer than previous years with a whole lot of new territory to explore.
Now I’m off to sort out the alternative route in case we cannot cross the river. This will be twice up Mt Erin (on different routes) and then on the western side of the Tukituki River to Te Mata Peak.
Please note that the above description is subject to minor change - but can be used as an accurate distance guide when training.
Happy Training! Make sure you practice lots of climbing!!