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RACE INFO

RACE INFO

RacingThePlanet: New Zealand 2019: COURSE DESCRIPTION

In March 2019, the ELEVENTH edition of the RacingThePlanet Ultramarathon will take place on the South Island of New Zealand. The host towns are Wanaka (pre-race) and Queenstown (post-race) which are appropriately famous for their stunning vistas and adventure sports.

 

The course features the great variety of iconic scenery and terrain of this beautiful region. Some highlights include clear still lakes, rugged hills, vast plains, rolling farmland where you will see local farm life (and lots of sheep), subtropical forests, open valleys with picturesque rivers running through, and ice-age glaciers, all with spectacular views of surrounding peaks and dramatic scenery. 

 

The course features the great variety of iconic scenery and terrain of this beautiful region. Some highlights include clear still lakes, rugged hills, vast plains, rolling farmland where you will see local farm life (and lots of sheep), subtropical forests, open valleys with picturesque rivers running through, and ice-age glaciers, all with spectacular views of surrounding peaks and dramatic scenery. 

 

The information below details the stage distances, elevation profile and terrain. Please note this is provisional information and the details could still change.

MAP OF THE COURSE

Below is a map of the general area of the course.

In order to respect private land that the course will be on, and to ensure that everyone goes into the race on equal terms, the full map will only be published at the time of the race.



STAGE DISTANCES

 

The total distance of the course is 250 kilometers / 155 miles. The approximate distances per stage can be seen below.

  Date Kilometers/Miles
Stage 1 Sun, 3 March 40 km / 25 miles
Stage 2 Mon, 4 March 41 km / 25 miles
Stage 3 Tue, 5 March 41 km / 25 miles
Stage 4 Wed, 6 March 42 km / 26 miles
Stage 5 Thu, 7 & Fri, 8 March 78 km / 48 miles
Stage 6 Sat, 9 March 10 km / 6 miles

ELEVATION

New Zealand is a country of hills and mountains so there are some climbs, but there is nothing technical or super steep and it is all at a low elevation.

Highest point: 960 meters / 6,430 feet

Lowest point: 200 meters / 660 feet

The total elevation gain: 8,800 meters / 29,000 feet over the 250km / 155 miles

The total elevation loss: 9,570 meters / 31,400 feet over the 250km / 155 miles

 


TERRAIN

The course is primarily on tracks, trails with some off-road sections and river beds. The terrain will consist of a combination of grasslands, fields, rocky terrain, gravel tracks, river beds, open plains and forest trails.

We recommend that you have a look at the PHOTOS to get an idea of the terrain and also what the hills look like.


CHECKPOINTS

During each stage checkpoints are located approximately every 10 kilometers / 6 miles along the course. All checkpoints include shade, water for drinking (normally in a large bottle with a pump) and volunteers and medical staff to check competitors and offer support.

At each checkpoint competitors must:

  • Be checked-in on arrival by the race staff.
  • Leave with the minimum allocation of drinking water for the next section (in general this is 1.5 liters).
  • Listen to and adhere to any instructions given by the race staff. This could be related to anything including adverse weather conditions (strong winds, cold), visibility (rain, fog etc) or anything else.

At each checkpoint competitors can:

  • Rest for a short time and take advantage of the shade the checkpoint tent offers.
  • Seek medical advice and minor treatment if appropriate from the medical doctor stationed at each checkpoint.
  • Ask details about the distance, terrain and elevation of the next section of the course.

Please note that adverse weather conditions, new obstacles or similar can result in changes being made to the course.


THE LONG MARCH

The Long March is a stage where competitors complete a longer distance of approximate 80 kilometers / 50 miles which is nearly double the length of the standard stages.

The stage follows the same format as the previous stages, with checkpoints are located every 10kms / 6 miles, however there is a designated "Overnight Checkpoint" where there will usually be tents to rest / sleep in and also hot water available to prepare a hot meal or hot drinks. Competitors may follow highly reflective tape if required to navigate through the night.


CUT-OFF TIMES

A cut-off time is the time by which you must have left a checkpoint.

There are cut-off times for every checkpoint on the course - these are announced in the morning briefing before the start of each Stage. The cut-off times are designed to help you finish, not to stop you from finishing the race.

While the leaders are extremely fast (finishing 40 kilometers / 26 miles in 3 - 4 hours) the cut-off times for the back of the field are designed based on a 4 km per hour / 2.5 miles per hour walking speed. This means completing a 40 kilometer / 26 mile stage in 10 hours.

Cut-off times for the Long March are based on a similar speed but with additional time allowed for a rest at the Overnight Checkpoint.