Are you tough enough? Described as the most technically challenging off road marathon in New Zealand the Surf 2 Firth Bush Marathon offers 42km full marathon, 21km half marathon and 14km options.
The marathon begins at Hikuai School on the eastern side of the Coromandel Ranges. There is a gentle 6 km run along a quiet gravel road to the end of Puketui valley. Into the bush there is a gut busting 690 metre climb over 6 kms as the track heads up past the Paton dam and Kaitarakihi junction to the Hihi trig. The race then descends down the Hihi to the BillyGoat track past the magnificent BillyGoat falls and into the Kauaeranga Valley floor.
When you reach the Kauaeranga valley road there is a short 1km of gravel road before you get to the DOC campground at Wainora which provides toilets, water and a base for First aid and supporters. From here it is 22 km to the finish. Competitors climb again over 4 kms up along the Wainora track to 650 metres under the iconic table top mountain before the long decent down to sea level at Thames High school to the finish.
Total distance of 42 kms. 1st leg is 20 kms. 2nd leg is 22 kms.
The half marathon is a run or walk event and starts at the WAINORA campground.
Designed for runners or walkers the half marathon gives an opportunity for people of all ages and fitness levels to have a go at something iconic and right on their door step. It is an opportunity to experience the bush, to achieve a goal previously thought out of their reach.
The half marathon may take 7 hours or as little as 2 1/2 hours based on previous walk/run times
The inaugral 14km race was run in 2015 as a shorter option for people looking to get started but not yet tough enough to take on the Half or Full marathon option.
Designed for runners or walkers, the 14 km event runs up the Waiotahi track to the Junction then proceeds down the Karaka track to Thames High school. This track show cases some of the truly jaw dropping scenery right behind the Thames township.
Estimated times for runners and walkers will be from 1-3 hours.