Rakiura Challenge Trail Run

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Entry Info

The Rakiura Challenge Trail Run (and waiting list) are now full!

Registration information

The Rakiura Challenge Trail Run will take place in the Rakiura National Park Stewart Island. The Department of Conservation, DOC has granted concession for 250 runners to compete in the run.

Registrations for the Rakiura Challenge Trail Run open at 12 noon on 1 April 2019 and close on Friday 30 August 2019.

The standard registration fee is $250 and this also covers meals on the Friday/Saturday nights as well as transport to the start line. Entries are only accepted on-line.

A late registration fee of $300 will be applied if registrations come in between the dates 31 August 2019 to 20 September 2019. From 21 September 2019 no further registrations will be accepted.

Supporters can register on-line and pay a fee of $100.  This fee also includes the Friday/Saturday night meals.

Once a competitor/supporter has entered and paid, then a confirmation email will be sent to you confirming your place in the race.

Waiting List

Should registrations fill up a waiting list will be generated should cancelations accrue. Organisers will inform the next person on the waiting list of there availability to join the race. 

Refund Policy

A refund of 50% of the entry fee paid will be made if you advise race organisers of your withdrawal from the event before 1 September 2019. After that date the entry fee is not refundable.


The following waiver will be applied to this event.

I/We accept all conditions of entry, while recognising and agreeing that trail running and walking are inherently risky and physically challenging undertakings. I/WE attest to having read all information supplied in the entry form of website, and enter this event knowing the risks and demands involved.

Therefore I/WE take all responsibility for my/our fitness, experience, actions and occurrences during this event. As such I/We, my family, heirs and executors of any estate discharge the event organisers, sponsors and all other persons involved in the event of and liability, claims or damages relating to personal injury, loss or damage of equipment, or and matter arising from the event. I understand that if extreme weather or other “acts of god”, force changes, postponement or cancellation of the event, that the entry fee is non-refundable. I authorise my name, voice and picture to be used, without payment, in any capacity relating to the event.

Prize categories

Open Men Run: 1st, 2nd, 3rd

Open Woman Run: 1st, 2nd, 3rd

Junior Men Run U20: 1st, 2nd, 3rd

Junior Woman Run U20: 1st, 2nd, 3rd

Vet Men Run (40-49): 1st, 2nd, 3rd

Vet Woman Run (40-49): 1st, 2nd, 3rd

Vet Men Run 50+: 1st, 2nd, 3rd

Vet Woman Run 50+: 1st, 2nd, 3rd

Vet Men Run 60+: 1st, 2nd, 3rd

Vet Woman Run 60+: 1st, 2nd, 3rd

Race Info

Date - 5 October 2019

Start time – 8.30am

All competitors staying in Oban will be transported to the Start Area on race morning.

Race Briefing

The Oban Community Centre will be open from 7:30pm on Friday night for a Pasta Dinner for all competitors. This will be followed by a full race briefing led by the Race Director.


The weather on Rakiura/Stewart Island is very changeable. Participants should come prepared for all weather conditions. In addition to clothing being worn during the run, as a condition of entry all participants must carry the following:

  • Thermal long-sleeved top and leggings
  • Thermal Hat
  • Gloves
  • Wind & Waterproof Jacket
  • Survival Blanket
  • Drink bladder or equivalent, (minimum 2 litres of fluid) and food suitable for a four to eight hour run/walk.


Organisers reserve the right to refuse entry to any competitor considered not capable of completing,

Participants must be 16 years of age or older. Participants younger than 16 will be considered on a case by case basis by contacting the race director.

Organisers reserve the right to withdraw, or turn back, competitors who have not reached the Log Hauler turn-off (above Port Williams) by 10.30am.

Organisers reserve the right to withdraw competitors who have not reached the North Arm check-point 2.30pm. Water Taxis are available from this point.

All competitors must attend a Safety Briefing to be delivered at the start line 15 minutes prior to the start.

Competitors will be issued with numbered bibs when checking in at the start line.  They will have received an information pack (Race Pack pick-up) at the Race Base in Oban.

Tail-end Charlie

The Tail-end Marshal will leave with and shadow the last competitor on the entire course.  Tail-end Marshal will carry the list of starters.  This list will be relayed by radio to Event Sector Check Points.  Tail-End Marshal to stay with the last competitor unless that competitor withdraws or is turned back.  If a competitor is turned back, this competitor must be monitored and have their progress monitored until they exit the course.


Race Base for the day will be at the finish line.  Base Control will have Controller/radio operator, supported by Police (if available), and Race Director for the duration of the event.


  • Helicopter for emergency call-out and evacuation
  • Water taxis for emergency call-out and evacuation
  • Water taxis to assist with and support marshal placement and evacuation.

Prize giving

Prize giving will be held at the Oban Community Centre 6:30pm on Saturday the 5 October. This will be followed by a prize giving dinner.

Course Description

Distance - 33.7km approx.

Altitude - approx. 200m of altitude over track course

Starting from “Horseshoe Bay”, the 33.7km course starts with a 1km run up Lee Bay road to Lee Bay. Upon entering the track at Lee Bay stunning costal views appear as you make your way towards picturesque Little River.

Depending on tides, (the high tide mark is the track course), before rounding the tip of Peters Point bringing you to the spectacular Maori Beach.

The course takes in the entirety of the beach, then a swing bridge crossing before the climb up the forested ridge overlooking Port William.

The course heads inland now, climbing to the high point at some 200m above sea level. But the effort will be lost in the combination of beautiful regenerating podocarp forest and lush, dense virgin forest.

Along the way you’ll pass massive old log haulers dating back to the late 1800s, when the giants of the forest were dragged to the costal saw mills.

Descending to North Arm, you’ll be following in the footsteps of early Maori, who since the 13th century have used the island as a traditional food gathering site (mahinga kai).

Following the western coast now, the track undulates through a myriad of hidden bays, crossing tidal mudflats and passing historic milling sites.

And then it heads inland again for the final stretch through regenerating bush, climbing for the last 100km before a thumbs-up downhill to the finish line in Oban.

Course map and elevation profile

Click map to enlarge

course map


The event will be cancelled if, in the opinion of the Police, Search and Rescue Group and the organisers, the weather is so inclement and results in high winds, torrential rain, risk of trees being blown over the track and causing injury or causing slips and landslides. 

The final responsibility and decision are with the Race Director.  Announcement of cancellation to competitors and the public is to be made by the Race Director.


If you have a query about the Rakiura Challenge Trail Run that has not been addressed on this page, contact the organisers.

The Rakiura Challenge Trail Run 2019 would not be possible without the generosity of

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