About 1100 athletes of all abilities are expected to hit the Woodhill Forest tomorrow in the third event of the Xterra Auckland trail running series.
Cam Carter, of organisers Total Sport, says the attraction to the Xterra series comes from the accessibility to great landscapes close to Auckland City.
"The environment and energy at the events is completely contrasting to what the majority of people experience throughout their week, so it becomes something people really look forward to," Carter said.
"The Xterra Auckland series is suited to all levels of trail runners and walkers, be it a complete novice or seasoned pro.
"The events were conceived to inspire people to be active, happy and out amongst some stunning locations.
"We have four different course options at each event including 7.3km, 14.1km, 19.9km and 23.1km for Woodhill, of which the shorter two distances have walking categories.
"The variety of course options and destinations gives people the ability to choose a course that will challenge [them] while in a comfortable environment."
Carter has simple advice for anyone taking to the trails tomorrow or in the coming weeks: "Do not take it too seriously.
"Trail running is about enjoyment, whether that be an easy walk chatting with friends or a competitive pursuit.
"If you're getting out on the trails for the first few times it's a good idea to be with others as safety is something to take seriously," he said.
"If you're just starting to run take it easy, slowly and progress over time. If you're patient you'll be having fun running for years.
"It's fantastic to see so many people coming out to these places early on a Sunday morning, it really drives us," Carter said.By Peter Thornton