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Extreme running race preparations start

Calling all extreme runners – it is time to get training if you want to enter the 2015 Raglan Karioi Trail.

Entries are now open for the December 12 event, which involves running twice to the summit of Mount Karioi. Organised by Raglan-based outdoor recreation events company Jaunt Events, it will be the third Raglan Karioi Trail this year.

The 24km race is still the steepest race of that length in New Zealand, with an elevation of 1850 metres, and is technically difficult because of the steep and rugged terrain.

“It’s up and down all the time,” says Jaunt Event’s Francois Mazet. “But you get a beautiful view from the side of the mountain.”

The race will start and finish on the Swan farm on the Ruapuke side of the mountain and runners will have to contend with bush, mud, roots, rocks, climbing chains and ladders and some gravel road along the way.

“It’s a big challenge. It’s hard,” Francois concedes. “That’s why you need quite a bit of training.”

There are several options for the 24km race, including running solo or in a 2-person team relay, with different age divisions and male and female categories. A 2km mini-Karioi trail on the Swan farm will again be held for children aged 7-9 years and 10-12 years.

A new addition this year is a 10km run starting at Karioi Lodge. This is open to anyone over the age of 13 years and can even be walked: “You don’t have to be super fit – it’s more a social event”, Francois says.

He is expecting the winners of the first race for the past two years  – Kovo Kowaleski in the women’s division and Chris Morrissey in the men’s – to compete again this year, along with some other good runners from Raglan and around New Zealand.

The event is also well patronised by local sponsors. Francois puts this down to the good atmosphere on race day, with a free bbq, beers and music at the finish line helping generate that.

“We have more sponsors this year and everyone in the community has really tried to help,” Francois says. “It’s the good image of the race and they want to be associated with that.”

Online registrations for the race are now open at: Anyone registering and paying before October 12 goes into the draw to win back their entry fee, available to two lucky people. People can also register the day before at Bow Street Depot and on the day at the start line.

Rachel Benn


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