We know how you love the urge to run and walk but more importantly we know how you love your little ones to be close by. We've teamed up with Rock my Baby to offer you a child minding service for all of the Xterra Auckland Trail Run/Walk events.Spaces are limited to 14 for each event folks so book the youngins in early or you'll be putting them in the pack for a little strength work...

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- Vicki


Riverhead Forest

Sunday 7 June, 2015

entry information page link

Event Options

We've made it easy for you to gather the entire gang, irrespective of varying fitness and age levels, and head out of the city for an action-packed family outing. The Mid and Short courses are available as walks too, so one event you may get to stretch out in the long or super long while your partner takes a wee whipper snapper or two around the mid or short course.

  • Short course, 5-8km (walk or run)
  • Mid course, 10-14km (walk or run)
  • Long course, 16-20km (run only)
  • Super Long course, 20km+ (run only)

Course Map (PDF)
Short Course Short Course Track Map - 1MB PDF
Short Course Elevation - 5KB PDF
Mid Course Mid Course Track Map - 1MB PDF
Mid Course Elevation - 6KB PDF
Long Course Long Course Track Map - 1.5MB PDF
Long Course Elevation - 5KB PDF
Super Long Course Super Long Course Track Map - 1.4KB PDF
Super Long Course Elevation - 5KB PDF

Note: These files use Adobe Reader. Windows: - Click here / Mac: - Click here

Start Times

Compulsory event briefings will be held 15 minutes before the start of each event - please be at these!

Super Llong - 09.00am
Long - 09.00am
Mid - 09.45am
Short - 10.30am

Course Information

You will be following hanging yellow Total Sport tape (attached to trees, posts etc) and our standard red arrows on a white backing. Where you reach an intersection where there is a decision to be made (generally based around the event option that you are doing), this will be clearly marked telling you which way to go - please stop for a moment at these points to ensure you are going the right way, let's not have you spoil your day for not having a quick look at these points!

When you reach an intersection do not cross any tape that is laid on the ground at any time - this tape is laid out to stop you going in a particular direction. After you have passed an intersection you will again be following generic hanging yellow Total Sport tape and red arrows. These courses will be checked and rechecked on the morning of the event but it is important you keep your eyes open out there!


The Rundown on Riverhead

Riverhead as we approach Winter - a place where turning up in all white is a sign that one hasn't been there before in Winter. Yes folks, depending on rain levels in the lead up to the event, you can expect some glorious mud and clay out there. Being the first in the series this year you may not encounter as much of the brown stuff as in previous years but it all does depend on the level of precipitation!

There is an endless and ever changing network of trails at Riverhead Forest (thanks to Tjebbe you LEGEND), and is really a hidden gem for off-road running, well under utilised but brilliant - a hidden secret for sure. If you know where you're going you can easily knock out a good quality long run without having to see too much gravel road.

And that's the way the courses will work for you guys - wide gravel road to warm up on and spread you all out, then a high percentage of quality trails to work you over. The Head is well known for its winding, rooty , changeable (pine needle through to hard packed through to clay - no sand out here!) goodness, so it's a guaranteed recipe There are also sections of tracks in Riverhead that remain relatively unaffected by the weather so they'll also be plenty of good quality fast running to be had as well. And here's one for you - Riverhead also has little pockets of Native Bush so at times it feels like we're back in the Waitaks! Nice.

Oh and finally, Riverhead aint flat my friends! While the mid (and definitely the short) course will again be relatively friendly (elevation wise), once you head deeper into the wilderness (from the event base) there are some real lung busters and actually some pretty cool views to be had at these heights.

Longies and superlongies again be prepared, or "The Head" will dominate you!

Short course


Course Overview:
You have a shorter section up Barlow Rd hill than the other courses but it's still 2km of the 'more or less' up stuff to warm you up prior to your turn off at Patterson Road. The result of all that hard work is the very nice downhill trail named Patterson One. It's a sweet ride down but could be a little greasy in spots. After a little stretch on the clay based Hansen Road, the full length of the long and winding trail we appropriately named 'Rooted' awaits you You'll find out why soon enough! This trail is a couple of km long but you'll be completely disorientated when you pop out on Karl Rd. From there it's all downhill to the finish!

Drink Stations:
At 1.9km in, on Barlow Road. BUT PLEASE make sure you are well hydrated before setting off on the course. It is sensible to be completely self sufficient. Please do not rely on this aid station.

Toughness Factor
7 / 10

Mid course


Course Overview:
Your first 7km is the same as the long and superlong course so see the long course info below for details on this section. Once you hit the aid station at the 7km mark you make a left and head down the wide clay based Hansen Rd. Once you're opposite one of the 'Rooted' entry points it's a big left hander up Patterson Trail Two.

Now this one could burst your bubble if you let it, and will likely be the slowest going on the course. The elevation gained in a short period (especially prior to hitting Patterson Road) may well reduce you to a walk. So up Patterson Road you go and then it's time to merge with the shorties at the entrance to Patterson Trail One.

All wide open trails from here folks! It's a sweet ride down Patterson One but it could be a little greasy in spots :) You get back down to Hansen Road and then the full length of the long and winding trail we appropriately named 'Rooted' awaits you. You'll find out why soon enough! This trail is a couple of km long but you'll be completely disorientated when you pop out on Karl Rd. From there it's all downhill to the finish!

Drink Stations:
At 1.9km and 6.9km. BUT PLEASE make sure you are well hydrated before setting off on the course. It is sensible to be completely self sufficient. Please do not rely on this aid station.

Toughness Factor
7.5 / 10

Long and Superlong Course

Long - 19.0km
Superlong - 23.0km

Course Overview:
Your day begins with a blat up the Barlow Rd hill - we've chosen a nice clean wide open start for you guys so you can settle into some sort of rhythm (& rhythm is sometimes rare at 'The Head'). After 2.7km of more or less up it's a left hander into Trig Rd where we will throw a couple of short little clay 'tester' tracks on your way to the start of The Fire Hut Track (Hansen Rd). Here you may need to watch out for the occasional 'small puddle' and you'll need to be ready to rip the piss out of those who gain free slip and slide lessons. Fire Hut Track is nice and wide but will make you want to shed a layer pretty quickly. We spit you to the right half way down this one and at the bottom a completely enjoyable (and very run-able) 700m single track gravel section will bring back some composure to your life. Next up you indulge in a quality and recently built single track which gets you to the 7km mark & your first aid station.

From there you hammer it up to Anzac Road and reconnect at the top of the Kauri Track! All good stuff!

Just after you hit Campbell Road it's long/superlong decision time! If you're a longie you'll make a left down Campbell, left into straighty then your 2nd to last uphill takes you to the fridge track. Here the superlongies will meet you again.
If you're a superlongie you'll make a right on Campbell Rd and you'll head on a great little exploration of the Northern section which, to be honest provides the best quality running on any of the courses. Some quality views and perhaps a hill or two - we like to keep something up our sleeve for you guys who put that extra effort it! The Northern section is well worth doing!!

Just prior to being reconnected with Campbell Rd a few laughs should be had as you hit a downhill mountain bike track which offers up some dodgy / greasy hills, an honest question of "how the hell do you ride that bridge over the river?") and a slight piece of water interaction! You meet the longies at the "Fridge Track". The fridge naturally leads to 'couch corner'.

The final 2.5km after 'couch corner' will offer the biggest puddles seen in the forest and then the wicked nature trail section to really finish you off! Yes the nature trail brings the Waitaks to 'The Head' Roots are aplenty in there so really watch your step before steaming across another bridge and blasting it to the line!

Drink Stations:
Four aid stations on the long and super long courses.  Long aid stations; 1.9km, 6.9km, 13.1km, 14.1km and Super aid stations 1.9km, 6.9km, 13.1km and 17.2km.  PLEASE make sure you are well hydrated before setting off on the course. It is sensible to be completely self sufficient. Please do not rely on these aid stations.

Toughness Factor
8.5 / 10


Course Safety

We recommend running with a Hydration back pack loaded with 1L water + electrolyte supplements.

You can expect to be away from base for a decent period of time at these events, and we can't always get aid stations to the points where you may expect them to be.

It pays to be safety conscious and carry items like:

  • a basic first aid kit
  • a cell phone
  • a whistle
  • buff or lightweight headwear
  • survival blanket
  • wind and waterproof jacket
  • It's all about personal responsibility!

Driving Directions

Driving directions to event base - 62kb pdf

View event base location on Googlemaps

Prizes, Parking and Other Info

You've told us over the years that you're not really into the whole hanging about for event prize givings. So, we won't be making you stay for any formalities. We have lots of spot prizes, and they will all be handed out randomly as you cross the finish line. So, don't feel obligated to hang about if you've got other things you need to do. Finish your event, talk it up about how great you are, get a SPEIGHT'S beer and a hot sausage and head for home - all good by us!!


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