November 16, 2019


             Entries will open May 2019



From the start, the graveled road climbs Ward Pass 1145 m and descends into Isolated Flat – 250 hectares of expansive grass and tussock lands, bounded by rolling mountains and massive scree slopes. Once at Red Gate, the road loosely follows the Acheron River through to the historic Acheron Accommodation house and the confluence of the Acheron and Clarence rivers.  From here we follow the Clarence to Jack’s Pass – and from there into the North Canterbury town of Hanmer Springs – finishing outside the famous Hanmer thermal spa: a total distance of 84km.

The Molesworth Run is an 84km running event from the Molesworth Cob Cottage to Hanmer Springs through the Molesworth Station. The race can be run as a solo-runner, in a team of 2 or in a team of 4 runners.

Solo ultra-race:

Solo-eventers begin at 8am at Molesworth Cob Cottage. These runners must be proven ultra-distance competitors and expect to be able to run the distance in 10 hours. Solo runners should have reached the last transition point by 4 pm. Runners who have not done so will be encouraged to withdraw. Previous ultra-events and times must be supplied with race entry – time limit is 10 hours. Each solo-entrant needs to have his/her own dedicated crew and vehicle.

Teams of 2 runners:

Each runner of the team must run a 42 km leg (either lap 1&2 or lap 3&4). Running alternate legs is not an option. The start is at 8 am with the solo eventers.

Teams of 4 runners:

Teams of 4 run an approx 21km leg each. Teams of 4 start at 9 am.

The field will be limited to 75 teams and 20 solo eventers.

Grades will be Open Men, Open Women, Veteran Men, Veteran Women & Mixed Teams.

The teams events will be run under a normal relay format i.e. a runner tags next team member. However, each leg will have a 2-hour period in which a runner has to tag his team mate. If the leg remains uncompleted after 2 hours the next runner must start. If uncompleted after 3 hrs, the runner will be withdrawn.

Mixed teams must have at least 1 member of the opposite sex per team.

Race order sheets and waivers are provided in the final mail-out due 1 week before race day. These are to be handed in at the start. They must list runners’ full names in race order.

Take note: SOLO runners and Two Person Teams start at 8am.


The race start is at the Molesworth Cob Cottage.

To drive to the start from Blenheim, take SH 1 and travel 22 km south from Blenheim. Then turn west (i.e. right) at the Awatere Road intersection. Drive 87 km up to the race start at the Cottage. A large part of this is a metal road and total travel time from Blenheim is 2 1/2 to 3 hours.

Camping at the DOC camping area Cob Cottage will be permitted on the night prior to this event. You need a tent or a campervan. There are long drop toilets and portaloos only.

To drive to the start from Christchurch via Hanmer Springs, you need to drive through Molesworth Station on the evening of Friday 16th November or the morning of Saturday 17th November (Race Day).

Race Distances and Course Description:

Leg 1 – 20 km:

Molesworth Gate. Short sharp undulating run, sharp corners and steep pulls leading up to Wards Pass, then steady zig-zag up to summit. Summit Ward Pass (1145m). Steep descent into isolated flat and the Acheron River Bridge. Flat open country excellent running to Saxon River Bridge. Similar country through to End of Leg One, Sign post west end of Isolated Flat. There are portaloos at change-over point.

Leg 2 – 22 km:

300m of flat before a steady climb to summit of Isolated Saddle. Isolated Saddle. Easy downhill to Red Gate turn off. Undulating easy run to Severn River Bridge. Short, sharp sections through to Yarra River Bridge. Similar country through to end of Leg 2 at a point. being 2.5km passed pylon No 1078. Leg Two Ends. Clearly signed. MARATHON CHANGE OVER POINT (42km).

Leg 3 – 21.4 km:

Road closely follows Acheron river with several steep pulls around bluffs to Five Mile stream. Road gradually eases, and the valley widens as the confluence of the Acheron and Clarence Rivers become visible at Historic Acheron Accommodation House. There are toilets at the Accommodation House. Road descends gently to the Molesworth boundary on the Clarence River Bridge. Clarence River Bridge. Public road from here to Hanmer. Crossing the bridge, the road follows the Clarence upstream to a gate and end leg three.

Leg 4 – 21.3 km:

Road continues adjacent Clarence River gently climbing towards Jollies Pass and Jacks Pass roads. Jollies Pass Road. Continue past this intersection to Jacks Pass Road and the final mountain. One final effort up a steep 2.9km to the top and Jacks Pass Summit. Road then descends steeply into the outskirts of Hanmer Springs Township. Turn left at end of Jacks Pass road (opposite camp ground) and then turn into 4th wee road on left:  Chisholm Cres. There you find the finish. Take a deep breath and lunge over the line. The Race is Over!!! You’ve done it. CONGRATULATIONS on a great effort.


Our event is run in the ‘High Country’, approx 1000 metres above sea level. As such weather patterns are EXTREME. Severe heat, little shade and limited water, can be encountered or snow and severe frost at any time of the year. Competitors and support vehicles must be equipped to handle these conditions.


As this event is being held inside the “open” period for Molesworth the road may be rough in places – vehicles with low ground clearance may have problems. Vehicles should have adequate spares i.e. fan belts, hoses, fuel and be in reliable condition. There are no fuel supplies available between Blenheim & Hanmer. The road is not suitable for buses.

Rubbish: In short – NONE. Take it in, Take it out – It is pristine country, let’s keep it that way!

Competitors must supply their own support. Your team mates are your support – your vehicle is both transport and haven if weather is inclement. Organisers insist that an adequate supply of water and or replacement drinks to be carried. Please carry a first-aid kit.

A team of 2 ambulance trained personnel is on standby. They carry medical supplies and a defibrillator. They have satellite telephones to communicate with our crew but be aware there is no cellphone reception in the Molesworth Station.

A traffic safety plan is in place. The tail-end-Charlie has the authority to withdraw competitors if there is concern about their safety. The race and the course management close at 6pm. After that time no responsibility can be taken for competitors who have chosen to stay on the course.


Prize giving will take place at 8 pm at a venue to be advised.

Traditionally we run a poetry competition afterwards, the Running Bard. All poems provided will be read out and an infamous judging panel will award a prize for best poem.

ENTER & ORDER: see online entry button at top of page.

Entry Fees:

Solo Event:                                    $ 50

Duo Event: $50 each                  $100

Four Person Event: $50 each   $200


If you have any questions, you can contact us at:



Please be aware, we are busy volunteers with full time jobs!!


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