Channel your inner mountain goat on the Routeburn Classic.
Run over New Zealand’s world-famous Routeburn Track in April each year, the Challenge thumbs its nose at convention as participants tackle the 32km track in one day.
Starting at The Divide and finishing at the Routeburn Shelter the track climbs to 1127 metres above sea level at Harris Saddle, as you span two national parks, including the World Heritage Area of Fiordland.
Fun pulses through the event, with a different theme each year, from superheroes to adventure fiesta, race packs come complete with dress-ups for the day. Travel with your fellow, twinkle-toed athletes by helicopter or on the highway by bus to the race start point.
The fastest time over the Routeburn is a shade over two and a half hours, but the more relaxed among the field take their time (relatively) clocking in anywhere up to eight hours.
Freedom. Solitude. Camaraderie. This is what you come for. Earning it. Crossing the finish line. A beer or bubbles and a burger await you. Savour the achievement with a custom-made medal around your neck.
You’ll see it all during the day with lush native bush, a moraine-filled alpine crossing with challenging climbs and rock-hopping downhills, before the sprint to the finish along the Routeburn flats with cascading waterfalls roaring you on.
If you’re lucky, you’ll get to experience four seasons in one day with snow, wind, intense rain and glorious sun along for the ride. Scree slope anyone?
The Classic attracts people of all shapes and sizes who are passionate about the outdoors, and have that streak of toughness to keep plodding on to find that blissful runners’ high. You’ll be glad you packed that pickle juice if the cramp sets in.
With landscapes that inspire postcards and fantasy novels, you’ll be enchanted into coming back time and time again.
After a large day of play, refuel the body and enjoy sharing the stories of adversity and triumph. Sit back, relax and think about the simple magic of being at one with such a beautiful place.
Now that your race is run, it’s time to slow down and take in the majestic sights and experiences of Fiordland (Ata Whenua - Shadowlands). One of New Zealand’s oldest tourism drawcards, this rugged and remote region offers awe-inspiring landscapes with a wide range of recreational activities. It’s a world-class sightseeing destination and a must-do for anyone exploring New Zealand.
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