For the 36 km runners, the race will begin at the old derelict McCallum’s Mill site approximately 11km north of Karamea. Athletes will run 12.7 km through regenerating native forest along the winding, undulating gravel road up to the Oparara Basin carpark. From there they will run a further 2 km to the Caves Carpark at the end of the road where they will turn around and return to the point where they will be directed on to the Mirror Tarn Loop Track which connects with the Oparara Valley.
The start line for the 20 km runners and walkers will be at the Oparara Basin carpark and will head 500 metres up the road to the turnoff to the Mirror Tarn Loop Track before connecting with the Oparara Valley.
On this track, all competitors will pass through a stunning, untouched rain forest dominated by huge rimu, totara and kahikatea dripping with moss and lichen and allowing only dappled light to reach the forest floor. Don’t be surprised to see weka, black robins and other native birds along the track for this wilderness area is abundant with bird life. Well-constructed bridges cross numerous side streams with tannin coloured waters that flow westwards to join the Oparara River.
Soon after crossing the Postal River suspension bridge, competitors will join the Fenian track and after a short climb to the low saddle above Cavern Creek they will have a fast, gentle downhill gradient ending at the Oparara Road. From here they will head across farmland following the route of an old tramway which was formed after the 1929 Murchison earthquake as a means of getting granite rock from the quarry near the Fenian carpark to the harbour protection work on the Karamea River. This route will take the competitors onto the graveled surface of Flaxmill Road and then it will be a short distance to the finish line at the Karamea Domain on Waverley Street.
For the 36 km runners, the start line is at 19 m above sea level (asl). From there they will ascend to 420 m asl at K Road and then descend to 191 m asl at the Oparara Basin carpark. From the carpark they will ascend to 219 m asl at the Caves Carpark. There are numerous places in the Oparara Valley where the track descends and ascends to cross the numerous bridges which cross side streams and from there it is an undulating descent through the Fenian Valley and on to the finish line.
36 km Race
McCallum’s Mill to Caves Carpark 14.7 km
Caves Carpark to Oparara/Fenian Track Junction 9.3 km
Oparara/Fenian track Junction to Oparara Road 5.4 km
Oparara Road to Karamea Domain 5.87 km
20 km Race
Oparara Basin to Oparara/Fenian Track Junction 8.95 km
Oparara/Fenian Track Junction to Oparara Road 5.4 km
Oparara Road to Domain 5.87 km