For those of you not quite up for the challenge of the 83km beast this year, this 60km takes in the bulk of the good stuff the Waikato River Trail has to offer and will be sure to challenge the body and mind. With 95% of this course being on trail's its a mountain bikers dream!
Starting on Waotu South Road, up will be directed south on the road for a couple of km to sort yourselves out before heading into the trails and straight into a long, and in parts steep, downhill. The first section of this downhill will test both the nerves and the brakes with a number of tight switch-backs, before opening up with some fast sweeping corners as you get back down next to the river.
As you make your way along the newly created gravel track you will be treated to some beautiful native bush while traveling next to the southern end of Lake Arapuni. This section also boasts the biggest swing bridge of the trail, it's impressive! You also take in a short section of the forestry roads as the foliage turns to the pine variety for the last few kilometers before the Waipapa Dam.
Once across the Waipapa Dam you are now heading down the Western side of the mighty Waikato River. The track surface now changes to hard packed clay, the forest gets more closed in and the hills start to bite slightly harder. In the 8km following the Dam you undulate your way through old pine forests, then head up a tough climb and away from the river. From here the going gets easier before you pop out at the Maraetia Power Station. Your legs will love the next couple of km as you scream down the sealed road and into the historic river side town of Mangakino.
The next 12km from Mangakino to Whakamaru Dam is a highlight of the day. You will enjoy the rolling gravel track as you hammer it through pockets of bush with farm land and friendly cows to your right and constant views of Lake Maraetai to your left - stunning! Crossing your last dam of the day, Whakamaru Dam, you will be straight back into quality trail! Now following Lake Whakamaru you cling to the bank, as the track winds its way east through a beautiful strip of native bush wedged between Ongaroto Road and the lake. The bush opens and you cruise through some spectacular lake side reserves for the last couple of km's before you finish at the truly magic Whakamaru Christian Camp, situated on its own Island surrounded by the clear waters of Lake Whakamaru.
- Course - Map 1 (403k pdf)
- Course - Map 2 (401k pdf)
- Course - Map 3 (398k pdf)
- Course - Map 4 (405k pdf)
- Elevation Profile (7kb pdf)
- Start Point (798k pdf)
16km, 28km, 38km, 48km, 56km (all aid stations will stock at least Loaded Isotonic Sports Drink and water and the aid station at 38km will have food).
Course cut-off time
9.5 hours - 5pm (To Mangakino in 6 1/2 hours (2pm)).
Highly Recommended Gear - not compulsory
- Beanie - polypropylene or wool
- Spare long-sleeve thermal top
- Jacket - seam sealed
- Basic first aid kit (including; 2m x 50mm strapping tape, 1x 50mm crepe bandage, 4x gauze pads, 6x painkillers, 15cm self-adhesive bandage strip)
- Safety blanket
- Food and at least 1.5 litres of fluid