Race - Feb 24, 2018
Birding · Lake · River/Creek · Views
The 34km Hillary Race runs from Piha to Muriwai over the Hillary Trail, this is the middle distance race with 16km and 80km courses as well.
Need to Know
Te Henga is very exposed and you need to carry at least 1 litre of water. It can get extremely hot and there is very limited shade.
Be prepared to do a lot of climbing in this race, approximately 1250m over the course, the trails are varying here from gravel singletrack, packed clay, rutted and muddy trails, open paddocks as well as some beach and stream running.
Starting at Lion Rock in Piha, the race starts across the black sand beach for 1.5km or so. From there, runners continue into the Hillary Trail with a long hill to start. This section of the race follows mostly through singletrack bush trails, though it does open out to farmland for a section, where you'll have great views.
Before long, you are back into the bush trails again and running around the huge black sandpit at Bethells. Racers will soon be running through a shallow stream for about 1 km to get to the Bethells Beach aid station.
From here, you follow the Te Henga Trail from Bethells Beach to Constable Rd. Te Henga is an exposed trail leading mostly through grassy areas, though there is a long, steep climb up from the beach. In this portion, runners will head north along the top of the cliffs where it is really hot, hard going, combined with a very long stair climb out to the Constable Rd aid station.
The course then follows a couple of km of gravel road then opens out to the main road where you can quickly get onto a concrete footpath for approximately 5 km, before heading back into a downhill bush trail, and emerging onto the beach at Muriwai. From here, it's running along the black sand before coming over the Dunes and up to the Muriwai Surf Club where the race finishes.
Flora & Fauna
Native New Zealand bush with Kauri trees, open grasses, farmland and beaches.