The Routeburn classic again proves for me to be a fantastic challenge against the clock. Each year looking to improve technique and speed. Conditons permitting, I will be looking to shave another 10 mins off my time…at least. Look for the smoke from my shoes.
I enjoyed being part of a great group from cromwell that took up the challenge. It was reassuring to know that I had old friends out on the track supporting me, along with the new friends made on the way.
I came from California for this – and it was worth it. An awesome course and the weather gods smiled. And Kiwi hospitality too – couldn’t be friendlier or more welcoming. The sausages and beer at the end hit the spot. I thought it was over at the finish but the awards dinner was a total surprise and a perfect ending: an incredible view at Skyline, good company and super food. I normally avoid buffets because there’s too much food but that night following the race I must have cleaned the place out. It couldn’t have been better. Thanks for making the race a great experience!
I managed to achieve my PB by 45 mins!! The scenery was truly spectacular. Great advice from Evan at the debriefing – “stop, enjoy the view and then carry on running”… biggest mistake is to run & enjoy the view at the same time!! lol
I felt ready for the race, I could cover the distance but wasn’t as ready as I thought for the climb and downhill. Felt good to finish, time wasn’t near what I thought I could do, but it is good to have those kinds of races from time to time. Well worth the effort.
I haven’t run any mountains before and found it very tough under foot especially the down hill at the end after flogging the legs going up. Great feeling to cross the finish line on a spectacular day. Made the most of the weekend at Queenstown having a look around.
I wasn’t nervous at the start, had a slow run, with a few falls and was very happy to win the masters….. and the Legend who beat me, I gave him a ride back to Queenstown.
What a hell of a challenge and a lot of fun. I felt well prepared by the briefing and the marshals on the track. Enjoyed every moment after the whistle blew. Was pretty nervous before! Will be the first person to sign up for it next year. Thanks for a fantastic experience.
loved the mexican wave I got at Mackenzie station, appreciated the words at the divide and the cheering at Routburn Flats spired me onto run the rest of the race.
Epic day with nz backcountry at it’s finest – loved the camaraderie and the fun
I’d heard a lot about the race and was not disappointed. It’s the people that make it and I made some new friends along the way.
In summary too my experience I really felt very good before the race in Te Anau as it was my first time on the Routeburn Track and I did not know what to expect. On arriving at the Divide where we all started and looking at the mountains around I was a little unsure as to what I had gotten myself into and it was only going to get worse. Once I started I realised just how difficult the track was as you needed to watch where you were putting your feet the whole race. Even though I found the run very difficult I was happy I did it and the limited views that I was able to take in were spectacular. I would like to walk the track in the future to take in the views in my own time but all things going well intend too run a little faster next year. Lastly the whole day was very well organised by Good Times Events.
Unforgettable memories: …Nervous at the briefing, when my daughter pointed out that there were “hundreds of people in the hall and not a kilogram of fat” …Running around Harris saddle was so beautiful I had to stop and appreciate it for a minute before reminding myself that this was meant to be a race! …Not being able to wipe that maniacal adrenalin fueled grin off my face for an hour after the finish. …the nagging thought that I know I could go a few minutes faster and sneak into the elite 3 hour bracket next time (the Routeburn was meant to have been a once in a lifetime)
A wonderful experience from start to finish. A very well orginized event that is going to be hard to improve.
The most spectacular part of NZ I’ve ever been to, it was mind blowing! And especially the good southern welcome and classic yarns made it a real keeper of an event.
Props to the people who make this race work! I felt that the race was well organized and provided the perfect amount of information. The only concern I had as an athlete was about my warm up gear that I stripped off right before the race because I wasn’t sure the bus would be taking them back. The surplus of free supplies and discounts at local shops really makes the race financially beneficial too. Had a great time.
This was my first big running event and was a massive accomplishment to have finished it. I had picked up an injury (ITB problems that resulted in a bung knee) in January and had to take 6 weeks off running. When I got back into training I only managed one 2 hour run in before the big day. I was pretty nervous about my level of fitness and whether my knee would cause me grief on the steep downhill sections. Turned out my fitness was all good but my knee caused me problems on and off from the saddle down to the 6.5 km mark (where the track mellowed out dramatically). At one point I resorted to grabbing a stick and using it as a crutch to clamber down the rocks. Was bloody demoralising getting passed by a load of people that I’d passed over the previous 3 hours. Once I hit the flat I was ok to run again so managed to run all the way to the end. Was almost crying twice during the event; when I thought I would have to crawl the last 9 km and then when I could hear the speakers at the finish line and realised I hadn’t pulled the pin and kept on going. Many people asked if I was ok which was awesome. The event would be nothing without al those folks on the track. It’s a pretty tough event to organise so hats off to you guys and your epic logistic skills. It all seemed to run smoothly (forgive the pun) so cheers for all your effort. The weather was unbeatable, I reckon the only thing holding me back from doing it again would be the thought of doing the event in pissing rain and blasting Southerly! I was so spoilt by that beautiful day.
Finishing line very satisfying. Battled it out with a workmate and came out on top. 1st time so got quite nervous the night before and had not much sleep. Would like to do it again next year if I can afford the luxury of training.
Enjoyed the whole run..the encouragement from other runners, walkers, marshalls on the course were immensely appreciated. Had trouble with the heights along the Ocean Peak – Harris Saddle stretch…so had one gentleman from Auckland run with me and talk to get me forget about my jelly legs everyime I admired the view! Appreciated coming across the marshalls especially as they gave you more info about what the track was like ahead. Great fanfare when finishing and from other participants.
Tracey Donovan Grammer
Know for a fact I didn’t do enough training for this event – trained in the hills around central but did not train on rocks etc so I’ve learnt that for next time!! Loved seeing the aid stations – loved the jetplanes 🙂 Such a well organised event! Even though I finished well down the line I still felt like a well-tuned athlete!! Thank you very much.
We had a fantastic group of us from Cromwell which made the adventure even better than usual! My husband kindly offered to drive us all to Te Anau and do the mammoth drive around to the finish, but his pain and suffering were well worth it as traveling and staying altogether made it a great weekend away with this magical run thrown in the middle! This was my 3rd Classic so I was going into it fully aware of what was ahead and of course with a time goal to knock off (which I ecstatically made) but most others in our crew were newbies so was neat to be there to support them. I totally enjoyed the track once again, especially the track improvements between Mackenzie and Harris shelter, but wouldn’t want to see many more made – especially as I have such a love / hate relationship with all those bloody rocks above Falls! I’m totally swearing my head off at having totally enough of those darned things by the time we get to the flats but yet it is what makes this run so great as it is such a challenge to get down without ending up on your behind!
As a first timer with only a 10km and a half marathon race under my belt, I was very nervous at the start line, wondering if the 9 months of training and the few races I’d done was adequate preparation. Once we got started I relaxed a bit and found the race more like a speed tramp than a run. I was very relieved to make it to the Mckenzie Hut with 20min to spare. It was a challenge for my calf muscles to reach Ocean’s Peak and I hit the wall a few times further down the track. It was great to reach the Falls Hut and this was the bit I enjoyed running from the most because by then I was sure I could make it to the end! I relaxed a little too much after the Flats Hut and went flying into the ground twice – a bit of cramp stop spray from a kind fellow runner helped tremendously. I felt totally shattered but extremely happy to finally cross the finish line to the cheers of my team mates, and receive my very cool medal.
Brilliant race, the views had me all tingley… definitely coming back to do this again… and faster..
I am new to adventure racing with the Routeburn being my 3rd race. Adventure runners all seem to be so friendly, encouraging with unlimited energy and spark. This race was no different. Great crew and a great crowd. The “smell” of the beer at the finish line definitely kept me pushing hard over the last 7km…an incentive that worked well for me! But nothing beats the awesome weather we had and the views at the top. Loved the idea of the staggered start based on your estimated time.
Great day, great people. Nervous. The climb to Howden Hut was real tough, I was thinking how the hell am I going to complete this race and then getting past that was awsome. Then to complete the race and feel sore but not too bad was great.
For me, the hole thing was very relaxed. Every thing was well explained and organized. It was great having the support from every one. The Medals and beer at the finish line were brilliant, just what i needed after running for so long… Great work
A complete weekend package – everything runs smoothly, and this massive event still has the feeling of a small friendly day out with your mates. Evan, you’re hilarious mate. Don’t ever let anyone else do the Friday night briefing. That’s one of the highlights. Really appreciated the warm and generous congratulations on the finish line. I was pretty knackered and I appreciated you holding me up for a minute or two to catch my breath.
I will add Skyline is awesome. Brilliantly done, organising so many wicked spot prizes.
Was the best event I’ve been to. So much enthusiasm and great laughs! The run was 100 times harder then I expected and I threw my toys out of the cot on several occasions during the race but the final flat down hill felt awesome! I was really excited to start the race which is complete opposite to how I usually feel before a race. Coming across the finishing line was AMAZING! I was so happy to have finished such an amazing run! And the medal at the finish line was awesome I love medals!
Excellent organisation in Te Anau and pre-start, the arrival of the helicopter airforce was a highlight, the course is tough but hey no one said it was easy, and the set-up at the finish was excellent. Transport arrangements all round were great. Buffet dinner and prize giving were top notch.
One word is all it takes! AWESOME!
Epic and challenging run that is within my capabilities, different every time, and with a great atmosphere.
I loved the flat section after the hill after Howden Hut, ie leadin to Mackenzie, still felt good, trail running at its best, weather totally amazing, so happy to be out in the mountains with other friendly runners!! Thought I may be able to make it under 5 hours so pushed the envelope for the last 9 kms, just missed out but nice to see my legs still work after 25kms in the mountains!! Amazing experience!
The best running race I have done in New Zealand, hands down!
Stunning terrain and scenery, very fortunate with the weather. Professionally organised, that had me nice and relaxed standing on the start line. Brilliant finish area that had has hanging out and swapping yarns and in no real hurry to go home.
For me Fiordland contains the true essence of New Zealand and there is nothing like experiencing the harshness and subtleness of its raw nature. I have travelled the world and each time I return I appreciate it a little bit more. I’ll be back year after year. It is a fantastic experience and personal challenge for anyone, with a tremendous sense of reward at the end. Before the run my nerves are in overdrive with a sense of anticipation and excitement.
I love every minute, from checking in at Outside Sports, the bus, the briefing… all of it! Love meeting new friends along the way, great crowd of organisers, entrants.
Nothing feels as good as that finish line .. and the speights ! not being a beer drinker at all .. cannot believe how well that went down 🙂 Always a great crowd there to cheer you finishing and its such a great experience. I remember the first time, so can relate to the smiles of the virgin finsihers .. of which we had a few with us this year. Never a team to have much drama .. we had it all with both of our people doing the helicopter hospital finish ! still think they will be back to do it again though. 🙂 even through the pain of that experience ! Im back for number 5 next year 🙂
I was primed and pumped and ready to give it ”what for’….and I did. I always enjoy our man hug each year Ev. I want metres of snow and ice on the track with dark clouds threatening to unleash mayhem on humanity below. Enough of this ‘fine’ weather, let’s get back to some unholy real outdoors chaos!
Stunning scenary…a real adventure.
The whole event flowed well and with the weather we had this year would be hard to improve on. All the support provided was excellent – there were no questions or queries I needed to ask and having the people along the course is good. Finishing was a good part – I was suffering from cramp. The food and an ale at the finish line was appreciated. Prize Giving up Skyline found was very good venue and good value also (excellent buffet meal) better than sitting around in a hall or similar location. And I won a spot prize.
The race, as we’ve come to expect, is very well organised from the outset. Right from the build up to the registration with useful emails and afterwards the regular updates, all very good and very useful. The day itself went like clock work. The other aspect I like is Evan’s laid back way of delivering important information, the message gets through, but in a fun way, we’re all adults and know the risks and at some races you feel patronised, not so
I’m a huge fan of the race in the snow, I know its weather dependent, but when it was in May it was more likely, but I guess logistically its more nightmarish. But my favourite runs are in the snow and ice, now that sorts the men from the sheep!
Very nervous the night before, but pretty good on the morning of the race. The happy buzz from the athletes was a great help, especially during the race and after. Crossing the finish line was amazing with all the support from friends and family 🙂 Terri’s voice was particularly loud and welcoming 🙂
The dinner was great, brilliant food and tonnes of really good spot prizes. The happy relaxed buzz of all athletes was really good to be a part of too.
My favourite part of the race was transversing around the mountain before climbing the Harris Saddle. I loved the alpine bit with keas calling overhead and oh what a magnificent day we were given to run on! Looking down to the Hollyford valley, and upon the tairns up there, it was a celebration of being alive! I loved it at the finish when Evan chatted to me asking about my run, although I was fairly out of breath and felt I did not do justice to it!
Loved the function to. I not really want to party but enjoyed chatting to others re their experiences etc.
After arriving at Christchurch Airport on Friday morning to discover JetStar and cancelled our flight and not told us, and forking out big bucks to get to Queenstown we were a little rushed and uptight upon arrival in Te Anau. After that, it was all good. Very well organised. The event is fantastic with full credit going to the Good Times team. We will be back for sure…
Nice to pop the Routeburn cherry. Not fully knowing what to expect and with the benefit of hindsight I would train slightly differently and do more single track training. Take nothing away from the event as I loved every minute of it. One of the biggest highlights other then the scenery of course is the people who are involved – organisers and competitors. Bunch of good buggers who made the event very special.
An amazing part of the world on a stunning day – we were so lucky to be part of it!
Love the race, amazing event, superbe scenery, great team running the event. Second time around for me and had stunning cloudless days on both occassions. Last time ran with 4″ of snow all around making it a rather magical experience. Took the helicopter to the start and will do it again as far less hassle that treking around to Te Anau. Got home on a bottle of cramp stop spray so need more specific training next year. Contemplating the Contact Epic Hawea mountain bike and Routeburn adventure run double.
I’m from Auckland….a freshly made coffee at Harris Saddle would be a nice touch..
Won a spot prize thanks. Food fine and plenty of it. Nice change from energy bars and Gu!!
Drink stations were great, soo many lollies, smiling faces and cold good water. As I non beer drinker, Speights has never tasted so good as it did on the finish line. loved the abundance of Power Cookies and Jaffas.
Emma Van Opzeeland
Amazing experience in a stunning environment all part of a great event.
The great outdoors, stunning views, 1700 meters climbing, rugged rocky descents, competition with your mates, what else would you do on your Saturday?
It was great to make it to the top and even better to get to the finish, just managed to break the 4 hour mark by 15 seconds – it was touch and go their for a bit!
This was my first run through and I think the event was extremely well run. The only improvement would be to my fitness!
It was so much fun and i met some amazing people doing this run. The support from all the volunteers was awesome. Lake Mackenzie was my favourite part of the race. So beautiful. Although the finish line was also exciting!
A highlight of my life – truly amazing track and well-organised event, helped by the perfect weather.
Leena St Martin
I was afraid we were going to be spending the day in the rain, judging by the weather on Friday night so it was a huge relief to wake up to clear skies on Sat. morning. Very nervous as always (for a couple of days) before the race but I had an excellent run and chopped 20mins off last years time and gained 2nd place in the legends woman’s category!! Absolutely thrilled with that, the best run I’ve had on the Routeburn and this was my 4th. Great event and I’ll be back for the 5th next year!!
Fantastic experience!! Amazing track, well run, great fun.
Travelled with a group of 3 other runners from Auckland. Had a great time from meeting at Auckland airport to returning Sunday night.
Postcard pictures, everywhere you looked. The speights summit was gone in a matter of seconds.