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Agony and ecstasy await mountain run trailblazers

Raglan can expect a few hardy locals and plenty out-of-towners at Saturday’s inaugural Karioi Trail race – an extreme sports event which traverses the mountain twice for a total distance of 25 kilometres and an 1850-metre all-up ascent.

The second steep climb of Karioi will undoubtedly be the toughest for competitors, says Raglan resident and event organiser Francois Mazet, an endurance runner of mountain trails in France.

But one good point is that the view is “amazing”, he told the Chronicle this week.
Francois has just completed the run/walk trail – for which he’s cut and cleared new tracks – in four hours. But competitors have double that time in which to finish the event, he points out, and the distance can be shared in a two-person team event relay.

Not that it’s all about the time, he adds, it’s about the pleasure. “Karioi is a mountain that we love running and that’s why we want to share the experience.”
The race, which Francois hopes to make an annual event, starts at 8am from the Swann farm on the Ruapuke side of the mountain.

Francois is delighted that Rotorua’s Mike Tennent, who’s running 52 half-marathons (or more) in 52 weeks to raise money for Hospice, has registered for the race. Only last weekend the 54-year-old was competing in The Goat Adventure Run at Tongariro, widely acclaimed as one of the country’s premier off road running events.

Also competing are “lots” of men in the 40-60 age group and six women. Local possibles include Tom Welby, Mike Loten and Lorraine Von Huben.

Prize-giving at Raglan Golf Club is at 5.30 on the day, with trophies for the winners made by local steel artist Phil Meek. Raglan businesses have supported the event with spot prizes up for grabs, ranging from massage and Volcom vouchers to a Wahine Moe cruise on the Whaingaroa Harbour.

Late registrations can be made at Raglan Rugby Club tomorrow (Friday), 4-8pm, and at the Ruapuke startline on Saturday, 6.30-7.30am. Cash only.

Go to for more details.


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