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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Thanks to our Volunteers

The TMR is only as successful as our wonderful crew of volunteers who take time out from their own outdoor activities to come and help us over the weekend.
Marshals at Alpha and Kime make their way up to the huts on Friday night laden, not only with their own gear, but radios, first aid kits, signs, electrolyte drink and the infamous airplane lollies for the competitors.
While our competitors get up and prep for the race, we make our Alpha marshals head to the top of the hill for a 6am weather check to ensure race day is Go!
As competitors pass the marshal stations they are recorded and signed in, fed and watered. This information is then relayed back to base so we can keep a track of everyone.
If needed, our marshals assist the fabulous Wellington LandSAR teams who are also on the course helping keep our competitors safe.
Once everyone has passed these checkpoints, our marshals packup and head back out either down Marchant to Kaitoke or follow on behind to Otaki Forks.
This year's marshals include previous competitors, supports of this year's competitors and medical professionals.
Thank you to all of them, they are the smilely faces our competitors see during the race and are our great support.
See you all in 2020.

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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.