Tararua Mountain Race
Challenge yourself in one of the oldest mountain races in New Zealand

Welcome to our race!

 Race Update 1 March 2021

Tararua Mountain Race 2021 CANCELLED

Following the Government decision on Saturday night to adjust the Covid-19 Alert Levels up, the TMR Trustees considered the implications for this year's event and recognised any return to Level 1 at the end of this week uncertain. Throughout this year's pre-event information we have advertised we would only go ahead if we were in Level 1.

The Trustees decided it was best to make the call to cancel the event and advise everyone now.

We understand this decision will be disappointing to both you and also the volunteers, but we do feel we have made the prudent call on this. As many of you will know, this race is run totally by volunteers and we wanted to ensure we considered the implications of our decision on everyone. We also need to consider the financial impact if we were to continue planning (the next 2 weeks are when we incur the majority of our costs) only to have to cancel just before the race - unfortunately insurance doesn't cover Covid!

For those of you who haven't raced every single race (we have had 2 who have!) we can advise that the race has only ever been cancelled twice since it started in 1990, most recently after the Christchurch earthquakes, so we didn't take our decision to cancel lightly.

One of the key reasons we hold the race is to raise funds for LandSAR. As part of the your registration we provided an option to donate funds, over and above the entry fee. I am pleased to say many of you again this year have taken this opportunity to personally donate and this will be forwarded to LandSAR.

Q&As ...

When will the race happen again?

Unfortunately we are cancelling the event, not postponing it.

So please get your diaries out now and lock in the 2nd Saturday of March 2022. Hopefully we'll also be able to race the Southern Crossing route again next year.

What happens now with your registration?

We have considered this and are offering you three options:

  • Rollover your entry to the 2022 race. We offer this to anyone who is unable to race due to a late injury etc, as we really want you to be able to compete in our race.

  • Request a refund.

  • In lieu of a refund, agree to have your entry fee (and shuttle charges if you booked a shuttle) donated to LandSAR. This means that even though we aren't going to be able to donate any race profits to LandSAR as we usually do, they won't miss out on getting some well deserved support for their great work.

 What do I have to do now?

Please advise us by email which option you wish us to action - Rollover, refund, donate.

If you choose refund, can you please provide us with your bank account details so we can action this over the next few weeks. It may take a bit of time to work through these so we do ask for your understanding on this.


Finally, I would like to personally thank all the volunteers who help put this race together. While I hold the dubious title of Race Director, the TMR is a team effort, and I couldn't pull it together without their help - registration and finish volunteers, marshalls, LandSAR, AREC, the doctors and our caterers.


Don't let Covid stop you getting out in the hills, but remember, please be safe. We'll see you on the start line in 2022.



Cat McBean

Race Director



Check out Paul Kofman's "Return to Running Wild" summary of his 2020 race.  Paul lives in Australia and this is his 7th time competing in the race.


Photo Credit - Jack Thompson

You can't beat Wellington on a good day

Or more to the point, you can't beat the Southern Crossing on a good day. The weather for this year's race was wonderful. Mild conditions throughout the race, sunshine and amazing views on the tops made for a spectacular race for everyone. Dan Clendon posted the fastest time 4:47.53, missing the record set by Colin Rolf in 2001 by only 2.33 minutes!  Over 35kms of Tararua tracks, that's pretty close.  Perhaps Dan shouldn't have taken in the view so much!

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    Anna Douglas 8944
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    Graeme Stevens 4691
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    Graeme Stevens 20200307_192433

TMR 2020 Training Run

Yesterday the training run really put our runners through their paces.  The Tararuas this summer have been shrouded in cloud, like some mysterious thing, tempting only the bravest to dare look at what is being offered.  Seven races took the challenge and succeeded in doing the race course.  Not sure if they saw many of the stunning views, but none the less, well done.  We'll see you again on race day!

TMR 2020 Results  

TMR 2019 Race Summary

 by Chris Martin (published by NZ Trail Run)

One of the classics of the New Zealand calendar, the TMR is a fantastic community-run event. It crosses the rugged Tararua range just north of Wellington. The route is a point to point – the mighty Southern Crossing. It’s a multi-day walk or a long run, with a decent tussocky exposed section above 1,200m. A couple of years ago we had a strong northerly wind and hail in our eyeballs, so there was much to look forward to. Fortunately we had a better day this time, but lots of rain in the run-up made sure the track was suitably rutted and slippery. More

TMR Photos

Click here for 2019 photos

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    118c 2
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The Tararua Mountain Race is one of New Zealand's oldest mountain races, having first been raced in 1990.   The Tararua Ranges are widenly renowned in New Zealand for tough mountain terrain and weather, so the race is not for the inexperienced or faint hearted! 


Traditionally the race is held over the Southern Crossing. From 2014 a new route along the river valleys between Kaitoke and Holdsworth - another classic Tararua tramping route - which is sometimes used as an alternative course.



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RIP Chris Swallow

Its with great sadness that we advise Chris Swallow has died after an accident at the Isle of Man TT motorcycle event over the weekend.

Chris had raced the TMR 5 times, winning the Open Individual Men in 2017 and the Open Mens Team with Laurence Pidcock in 2015 setting a new race record of 4:57:21.

In 2011 Chris completed the rare 74 Km double Southern Crossing. Two years later he ran from Eketahuna to Kaitoke through the Tararua main range.

 Chris Swallow.jpg

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Tararua Mountain Race supports Wellington and Wairarapa LandSAR by providing donations after each race to not only thank the LandSAR teams for assisting with the Race, but also to acknowledge the invaluable service LandSAR provide in keeping us all safe in the outdoors.