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

Welcome to our race!


Lock in the date ....

Saturday 13 March 2021

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While the NZ Covid-19 situation is currently stable, we are still advising we will only be running the race as long as we are in Level 1.  

Race Update 17 Dec 2020

Due to a slip at Blue Bluff on Otaki Gorge road, and the subsequent road closure for the foreseeable future, the course for the 2021 race will NOT be the traditional Southern Crossing.

The 2021 route will be Kaitoke - Holdsworth.

This is a challenging course itself, a bit longer than the crossing and while apparently flat, does require runners to pace themselves.

Starting at Kaitoke, the course takes runners over the Puffer Saddle into Smiths Creek, nearly 10kms up the Tauherenikau Valley to Cone Saddle, down to the Waiohine River, along Totara Flats then up the final 600m hill climb to Gentle Annie Track which is the last hurdle before the descent to Holdsworth Lodge.

As you will appreciate, we've got a bit of logistical work to do to reconfigure the race and work with the Wairarapa LandSAR team. 

Find out more here


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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TMR Donation to LandSAR

Each year the TMR race profits are donated to LandSAR. In 2017, we were able to donate $7,000 to LandSAR Wellington. We recently received the following information about how the funding was used.

$2,000 went towards emergent technology for LandSAR Wellington
In 2018 the adoption of SARTrack, Live tracking software became a tool for the incident management team to use allowing for increased efficiency for managers and enable quick response to the ever changing search environment. With this emergent technology, there was a need for new radio and hand pieces to be equipped to enable the software use. Funds from the Tararua Mountain Race contributed to the purchase of new group radios and receivers.

$3000 went towards better purposed Utility Vests
With more of the searches being in the urban environment, the old 'mountain ready' safety vests were too 'hot' for suburban use. The purchase of new vests (that met NZ Safety standards) and allowed for increased breathable surfaces were purchased. This change to the new vests is part of a 5 year roll-over program to kit members with the highly versatile vests. The extra pockets, ID slot and radio pocket made the vests in high demand by our members.

$2000 went to AREC
$2000 went to the Amateur Radio Emergency Corp (AREC) in recognition of their support of the event with equipment, personnel and contribution to the communications plan as part of Wellington LandSAR. This money is thought to have contributed to the purchase of more radio equipment.

 LandSAR at TMR.jpeg

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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.