Race info

Age Categories for Runners

Male age groups Female age groups
16 – 19 16 – 19
20 – 39 20 – 34
40 – 49 35 – 44
50 – 59 45 – 54
60 – 69 55 – 64
70 – 75 65 – 74
76+ 75+

Minimum age: 16 years. There are no age categories for the 20 km walkers; 1st, 2nd & 3rd placed male & female only will receive prizes. All competitors will receive a finishers medal and will be able to download their certificate once the results have been loaded.


At the Karamea Bowling Club (adjacent to the Karamea Area School and the Karamea Domain):

Friday 17 April 2020 4pm to 8pm
Saturday 18 April from 6.00am – 7.00am
All competitors must register and collect their race packs prior to boarding their bus. If a competitor turns up at the start line without their race pack they will not be permitted to run and there will be no exceptions. For this reason, we strongly advise people to register the day before, if possible, instead of leaving it until the last minute.


Race pack

Race packs can be collected at time of registration and will contain an electronic timing tag, race number, and any additional race information

Race Briefing

There will be no pre-race briefing. Full briefing notes will be emailed to runners prior to the race and a hard copy will also be placed in each race pack.  View the briefing notes here.  It is the competitors’ responsibility to familiarize themselves with the details of the notes prior to starting the race.

Transport to Start Lines

All competitors will be transported by bus to the start lines. Important: The bus drivers have been instructed that they are to leave at their specified times sharp and therefore it is the responsibility of the competitor to make sure they are on time. Please read the following information carefully:

20 km Competitors (Runners and Walkers)

The access road to the start line at the Oparara Basin is narrow and in places steep and is closed to ALL traffic except the buses. The bus will depart from outside the Karamea Area School on Waverley Street at 6.45 am. If runners and walkers are late for their bus connection there is no alternative way of getting to the start line and they will be out of the race; there will be no exceptions. Please make sure to understand this and be on time.

36 km Competitors

The bus will depart from the Karamea Area School on Waverley Street at 7.30 am. Please make sure to be on time. If runners miss the bus, it will be their responsibility to get themselves to the start line. If runners arrive late at McCallum’s Mill and after the race has started, they will not be permitted to run. Please make sure to understand this and be on time.

Road Closure

The Break Creek left branch road from McCallum’s Mill to the Oparara Basin will be closed to all unauthorized vehicles from 5 pm Friday 17 April until 12 noon Saturday 18 April 2020.

Warm Clothing and Gear Drops Sites

It is advised that warm clothing be worn while waiting for the race start at McCallum’s Mill and the Oparara Basin. Surplus gear is to be left in a bag with the competitor’s race number and name clearly written on it, and dropped at the allocated drop sites so that it can be transported back to the Karamea Domain. Gear can be collected from the main entrance at the Karamea Bowling Club rooms.

For 20 km competitors: As the road to the Oparara Basin will be closed until the last 36 km competitor has reached the Oparara Basin, it will be some time before the surplus gear can be returned to Karamea. Competitors are strongly advised to leave another bag with warm clothing at the Karamea Bowling Club before they board their bus.

Mandatory Gear

As weather can be unpredictable at any time of the year in Kahurangi National Park, the following mandatory gear must be carried at all times to ensure the safety of the competitors.

  • Hat/beanie, gloves, long sleeve top (all to be either woollen or thermal)
  • Waterproof Jacket
  • Survival bag/blanket
  • Whistle
  • Simple first aid kit suitable to cope with any minor injury.

Gear will be checked prior to the start and any competitor not complying with the rules will be withdrawn from the race.

Race Fitness

It is the responsibility of entrants for all races that they are suitably prepared to complete their nominated event. As a guide, competitors in the 36 km event should be race fit to marathon standard and those in the 20 km run to half marathon standard. 20 km walkers should be fit enough to comfortably complete the course in approximately five hours. Walkers must step aside to allow faster walkers or runners to pass on request


Please read our detailed assessment of risks you may face as a competitor.

Start Time

8.30am for both the 36 km and 20 km races.

Age Restrictions

Runners must be aged 16 years or older on the day of the race.

Finish Line

Immediately crossing the finish line runners must remove their timing transponder (a marshal will assist with this). Failing to return the transponder will incur all charges related to replacement. Race times will not be officially recorded after 2.30pm.

Prize Giving Ceremony

A prize giving ceremony will be held at the Karamea Domain at approximately 3pm when the electronic timing results have been collated. Everyone who enters and completes both the Buller Gorge Marathon and the Pulse Energy Oparara Wilderness Trail Run will go into a draw to win $500 cash. The prize will be drawn at the Pulse Energy Oparara Wilderness Trail Run prize giving. The winner must be present at the prize giving to receive the prize, otherwise the prize will be re drawn.


The first, second and third place getters, male and female of all the races will receive prizes. First, second and third place getters in all age categories will receive a medal. All competitors will receive certificates and finishers medals.

Spot Prizes

There will be a comprehensive range of spot prizes on offer. Competitors eligible for spot prizes will be randomly awarded with a tag as they cross the finish line. Prizes can be collected from the Spot Prize Tent. Main spot prizes will be drawn at the prize giving ceremony. Competitors must be present at prize giving to be eligible to receive a main spot prize.

Drink Stations

36km event: Drink stations will be situated at approximately 10kms (K Road), 16.2kms (Mirror Tarn Loop Track), 28kms (Fenian Carpark) and 31.8 kms (Flaxmill Road).
They will serve Hammer Nutrition Electrolyte Fizz and plain water in 200 ml plastic bottles. It is strongly advised that you also carry your own fluid as there will be no drink stations through the Oparara Valley and Fenian tracks.

20km Event: Drink stations will be situated at approximately 13kms (Fenian Carpark and 17kms (Flaxmill Road).

Drink stations at K Road and Fenian carpark will be unmanned.


Marshals will be positioned at McCallum’s Mill, Oparara Basin, Caves Carpark, Sunshine Flat, Postal River, Maloney’s Bluff, Fenian/Oparara Road junction, Flaxmill/Kohaihai Road, Wharf Road/Waverley Street, Waverley Street opposite the entrance to the Karamea Domain and the finishing chute.

First Aid Medics

Medics will be situated at the Oparara Basin carpark, Sunshine Flat, Postal River, Maloney’s Bluff, Fenian-Oparara Road Junction, and the Karamea Domain.

Land SAR Com

There will be Land SAR Com at McCallum’s Mill, Oparara Basin, Sunshine Flat, Postal River,Maloney’s Bluff, Fenian-Oparara Road Junction, and the Karamea Domain.


There will be toilets at McCallum’s Mill, Oparara Basin, Sunshine Flat, Oparara Road (at the lime works) and the Karamea Domain.

Commitment to Health and Safety

The health and safety of competitors and all paid and volunteer workers associated with the event is paramount and taken seriously by the event organisers. All reported accidents or near miss incidents will be documented as part of the organisers’ plan to minimise similar issues in the future.

Event Cancellation

The event organisers reserve the right to cancel the race without prior warning if they consider that proceeding could pose a major health and safety risk to competitors, supporters or race volunteers. Under these circumstances, no refund will be given.

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