The North Range Trio event is something quite unique in our region and competitors will experience the stunning scenery on offer, Gerry le Roux says.
Le Roux is the race director for the Tararua/Manawatu-based off-road running and walking event, which takes place in the northern Tararua Ranges, amongst the wind farms on August 25.
"In the past three years it has become the pre-eminent off-road running event in the Tararua and Manawatu regions and it includes the only off-road marathon in the region," he said.
The 50km Catchment Ultra off-road marathon runs from Turitea Rd on the Palmerston North side of the Tararua Ranges all the way to the Ferry Reserve at Ballance in Woodville.
The stunning vistas and easy terrain underfoot for most of the way combine to offer a very enjoyable ultramarathon experience.
Once competitors reach the woolshed on Hall Block Rd, it is only another 5.5km of steep descent to the bottom of the road, from where a short stretch along Gorge Rd takes them back to the finish at the Ferry Reserve.
This year, le Roux said, the support from the Tararua District Council had been awesome.
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"They are really getting on board and that's great," he said.
"Being an event outside one of the main adventure capitals of New Zealand, it is always a challenge to promote and get good entry numbers, but we have been doing quite well.
"We've previously had in the region of 400 entries from across New Zealand and in addition to the support from the local region, we have entries from as far afield as Auckland, Tauranga New Plymouth, Napier and Wellington."
The 25km North Range Traverse starts at 9am at the top end of North Range Rd on the Pahiatua Track.
The 25km course is off-road and the section between the 3.5km and 11km marks is on a four-wheel-drive track and is likely to include muddy sections which may be slippery, so trail shoes are advised.
Much of the course is undulating over the Tararua Ranges with stunning views over Manawatu and the Tararua District. Along the way, participants pass a fascinating range of wind turbine designs.
The Tararua District Council-sponsored 12.5km Hall Block Humdinger starts at 11am at Ferry Reserve on the Woodville side of the Manawatu Gorge.
This is a challenging out-and-back course on a shingle road.
Starting at the bottom of Hall Block Rd, participants face a steady climb up to the woolshed, where they will be rewarded with a welcome aid station and some delicious home baking, with lovely views across the Tararua Wind Farm, as well as distant views across the Tararua District.
And while some sections of each event test the legs and knees of competitors, they are full of praise for the event, with many posting on the website, "absolutely amazing event, well organised and so much fun".
North Range Trio:
• Online entries close at midnight on Sunday, August 19.
• People can still enter at the event, but organisers would prefer pre-entries.
• You can enter the 12.5km Tararua District Hall Block Humdinger; the 25km Tilt Renewables North Range Traverse or the 50km Catchment Ultra by going to https://northrangetraverse.co.nz/
• Free bus transport leaves Ferry Reserve at 8.15am, to the start of the 50km Ultra and 25mk Traverse, for those who have booked online.