If you don’t mind all the reading, more info can be gleened from the pre-race briefing notes.

Please post a question in the box below if you can – if it’s of a ‘personal’ nature you can email the race director, terry@highlandevents.co.nz

Closest Airport?- Queenstown, NZ

Accommodation options? See the ‘about central Otago’ tab above.

Transport? If you’re traveling internationally – see more info here…

What are the cut-off times?

50k – 12hours

100k- 30hours

160k – 48 hours NOTE – These are ‘official’ cut-off times. It is most likely that the race director will still allow you to finish outside of these times depending on distance remaining, your physical condition and other factors that may apply.

Do you allow pacers? (somebody to run sections with you at a set pace) Yes! This year we will.  see more info here.

How hard is it going to be? Bloody hard!

Is there minimum gear I need to take? Yes.

  • daypack.
  • rain jacket – it can be just a ‘shell’ but it must be seam-sealed waterproof.
  • merino or thermal long sleeve top
  • extra fleece/mid weight wool top.
  • long thermal tights or trousers (not just compression pants!)
  • warm hat or beanie
  • polypro gloves survival/emergency blanket
  • own snacks, gels, energy bars etc
  • water bottles/bladders – enough to carry 2 liters of water at all times
  • headlight for night-time with back up batteries.
  • reflector stripes or vest or back flashing light for night-time running (most running packs these days have reflective tape sewn into them).
  • Whistle
  • cell phone (recommended but optional)
  • gaiters (optional but recommended)
  • gps/compass optional
  • waterproof over trousers (good to have in your drop bag at TW (major aid station up the mountain) just in case.

Good to have in a drop bag at start/finish and/or TW with extra warm clothes, spare socks, water proof trousers, special foods/drinks…

How much training will I need to do? Shitloads. Training depends on your individual experience and expecations. If you’re experienced and or aiming for a competitive time you’re probably not reading this or you’ll have a pretty good idea of what you need to do anyway. If you’re new to ultra running and just aiming to complete the blimmin thing without doing permanent damage to yourself then my key bits of advice are:

  1. First of all listen to everyone but follow no-one (actually that’s not my advice – Dean Karnazes said it in one of his books).
  2. Train your body to eat and drink as you run. Even if you are only going for a 30min run have a slice of bread or a musliebar as you start and have another mouthfull mid way through (lollies/banana/biscutes/crackers/pie…) you will need to eat about every 30mins during an endurance event and after the first few hours nothing tastes good so get used to variety. Practice drinking water and electrolites in your training also.
  3. Chuck in a bit of biking – this is purely personal and lots of hard-core runners don’t do it but I swear by MTB/cycling as part of my training for long runs – you have to bike hard though – not much point just going out for a cruise. Basically cycle short but hard (up to 1.5hrs hard as you can handle)
  4. Run slow on your long runs (up to 3 hours) and don’t worry about ‘speed work’ – speed work is where you are most likely to injure yourself.
  5. Go wild. About once a month go for a full day ‘tramp’ in the mountains. Best to go with a freind and take all the ‘minimum gear’ listed above. Walk the up and the steep down otherwise try to gently jog as much as you can.
  6. Go for at least 1 or 2 overnight missions to see how you cope with sleep deprivation… do this with mates and over a well marked track.

63 thoughts on “FAQ’s

  1. Hi Terry,

    My partner Deb and I signed up for the Petzl ultra 100k and we just wanted to check whether the race still gives us 5 points towards the UTMB registration like in 2018?


    • Typically we would say no juniors on this course but if you have done several tramps with him and think he’s up for it we may relent. How old is he and what experience have you and he had?

      • He will be 12 in August this year. He has been out hunting with me a couple of times and is a keen sportsman rugby, cross country running etc. My plan is to train with him over the next 12 months to get up to speed. I know Northburn station quite well so I’m quite comfortable with the environment. I’ll see how he goes over the next couple of months training and I’ll get back in touch if we are progressing well.

  2. Hi. What provisions are there at Base for supporters for the 100miler? Just wondering if its ok for my family to park up in a campervan for the duration of the race, or if they need to stay in town?

    • Hi Ryan – parking up in a campervan is all good! We have basic camping facilities available for supporters and the winery restaurant is only a 3 min walk away… town is a 5min drive away.

  3. Hi Terry, are trekking poles allowed in this event? I am hoping to qualify for UTMB, so I would like use the poles for Northburn well in order to be experienced in their proper use.

  4. Hi Terry, I am looking to enter the 100 miler in 2013. My question relates to trekking poles – are they allowed during this event? I am hoping to qualify for UTMB, so using the poles are a big part of my plan for that event too….

  5. Im just about to purchase a 25 litre backpack, anyone got any opinions if this will be too big for the 100mile or is it about right? Was going to go for a 20 litre but the 25 is certainly better quality.

  6. Having trouble finding a suitable camelpak/backpack for the race, does anyone have any tips as it looks like im going to have to purchase off the internet and want to be sure im getting something that ticks all the boxes.

    • I like pockets in the front so I don’t have to keep taking the pack off when I am hungry. That is my only priority. I got a 2lt Wink by Ultimate Direction if that helps. Perhaps something a little bigger might have been better but the concepts and design I found great.

  7. I have just signed up for the 100 miler. I am comong over from the UK to get married in NZ next year. Am really looking forward to this. (And the wedding too 🙂

    I have some advice on my blog for getting through long distance races. Hope it helps.

    See you soon.

  8. Hey Northburn, Thinking of doing this in 2013, can you give some tips regarding accommodation? Flying from Aus + is the fee in NZ dollars?? Thinking of the miler, cheers

  9. Hi, I’ve only done 1 marathon so far (4hrs 15′) so I’m not that experienced however I run +/- 30-35 kms weekly so I’m quite a keen runner. I’m very motivated to complete the 50 km. What do you think? I’m a real rookie on this 😉

    • Hi Fabienne. With a little extra mileage per week in the 3 months leading up to Northburn plus some ‘good hard weekend tramps’ in the mountains added to your training you will be able to complete the 50km loop fine – we have a 12hr cut-off so plenty of time! There will be quite a bit of walking involved – even the best runners still have to walk a couple of sections because they are just so steep.

      Hope to see you at the start line!

    • Hi Sharnita – it’s a plan of mine to put up a comprehensive ‘training schedule’ for first time Northburn 100ers. In the mean-time I strongly reccommend full day hikes and some weekend hikes (up the steapest hills/mountains you can find) plus 2 10k runs and a 20k run mid-week.

  10. Hi Guys,

    Just wondering what the ruling is on the “mid weight top” ?
    It is mentioned Wool or Fleece (I take from this that you want people to have a layer that can get wet and still be warm)

    Will you accept a light to medium down jacket. ie something that provides the same warmth but will take a bit more discipline with the use of your shell to remain dry should the weather turn bad.


    • Hi Callum – mate once you are wearing a down jacket under a shell, with a backpack on everything under the shell is going to get wet (sweat). So a down jacket wont really be suitable. For a mid wieght top we mean something like 180g-200g merino or similar in flece/thermo sports top. But Yes – needs to be able to keep you warm when wet.

  11. Anyone without a bed is welcome to crash (free) at our place in Hawea. Prob 30-40 min to Cromwell itself. I can drive over probably 4-5 people as well to the start.


  12. Can you offer any help or advice regarding employment in the area please. Im currently travelling NZ and would really like to get down to cromwell from december onwards so i can earn and train in the area. I would be most greatful to receive your advice

  13. Hi there we are 4 women(middle aged) with 16 marathons between us do you think we are kidding ourselves if we attempt the 50k? Not all marathons have been what you would call fast but have been finished. Our training will consist of many hours in the bush run/tramp and 2/3 shorter runs during the week (flat)

    • Hi Michelle, I think the more women and merrier – I especially like the middle aged bit. Then I wont feel I will be alone…..

    • Hi Michelle – if you can run a Marathon you can complete our 50k no worries. Especially with such a good training programme! Weekend tramps/runs in the bush with a few extra runs through the week- you’ll be well able to finish within the cut-off of 12hrs. We look forward to seeing you down here in March.

      • Thanks guys we are really looking forward to the challenge that awaits. We will see you in March – 50k this time who knows 100k next?? (p.s haven’t told the girls that yet!)

  14. HI Terry – since having a practice training run of 100k is out of the question, would you recommend back to back runs – say for example, 5 hours one day and 5 hours the next?

  15. hi there, Just wondered what your thoughts are re Walking it. Is that allowed,or can we walk up and run down 🙂 I presume it will be similar to Otago Peninsula Challenge and or Motatapu, but harder

    Many thanks

    • Hi Chrissy – the reality is EVERYONE will be walking quite a few sections of this ultra – so yes you are very welcome to walk. We’d like to think you won’t walk slowly around the whole course, run what you can – as the by-line says up the top right corner – you don’t race this one, you survive it. We do want you to finish the full 160km (100mile) within 48hrs so to do that you won’t be able to ‘shagaround’ too much.

    • Hopefully not! Typically it’s a dry course – even if it rains you should be able to dodge the puddles – have a look at the video on our home page – it gives you a good indication of the course.

  16. Hi, I see the 50km cut-off time is quoted as 12 hrs. So my questions are… Do you have a walking event associated with the 50k or would you allow it to be walked only and would it be possible to walk it in that time do you think? Cheers.

  17. Have a good race guys. I was training for the (my first) 100km – even got up to 50km and 30km back to back the weekend before the quake… so was feeling OK! (I live in CHCH).

    I was really looking forward to the race but more pressing matters now than training… Make sure you do it again next year!

  18. Hi Malik,
    This is our first race! so it will only get bigger from here! only 20 or so entered for the 100 miler so far so we will be able to really look after you! Look forward to seeing you at the end of March.

    • Queenstown is 1 hours drive away, and Christchurch is 6 Hours drive, these are the two best options however Wanaka (limited domestic service) is 40 minutes drive away, and Dunedin 3 hours drive away. Hope thats helpful. Tom

      • Tom, Thanks for the info. I’m waiting to get my visa to enter New Zealand now. Do you expect this race to sell out soon? How has it been in the past years?

    • Hi Martin, YES always looking for volunteers, please send through all your contact details and wether you have access to a 4wdrive and wether you would be happy to camp out on at a marshal point, for part of race?
      Thanks Tom

      • Thanks tom,
        Is there an email address I can send it to or can you contact me via the email address provided in the reply.

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