The Molesworth Run

 Saturday the 18th November 2017

Mountains – Scree Slopes – Tussock – Rivers – History

Please read all the information before you enter. Link to entry form is at end of this page.

General Description

The gravelled road climbs Ward Pass 1145m 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 there into the North Canterbury town of Hanmer Springs – finishing outside the famous Hanmer thermal spa. – A total distance of 84km.

Altitude: This 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 countered with snow and severe frost at any time of the year. Competitors and support vehicles must be equipped to handle these conditions!

Vehicles: 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. Station management have stipulated ONE VEHICLE PER TEAM OR SOLO EVENTER – this will be strictly adhered to. Supporters may view the last section from public road i.e. from Hanmer to Acheron Accommodation house. 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. Road not suitable for buses.

Rubbish: In short – NONE. Take it in, Take it out – It is pristine country 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. Carry a first-aid kit.

Race Format

Solo: Eventers begin at 8am at Molesworth Cob Cottage. Solo runners must be proven ultra distance competitors. Solo runners must 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 10 hours.

Teams of 2:

Teams of 2 x approx 42km legs. Teams of 2 must run Legs 1&2 or Legs 3&4 (Running alternate Legs is not allowed). Start at 8 am with the solo eventers.

Teams of 4:

Teams of 4 x approx 21km legs. Teams of 4 start at 9 am. A runner from a 4 Person Team may run for Two Teams (i.e.: another 4 Person Team that through injury has only 3 runners) BUT this can only be done on Leg 1. The runner involved must wear the Team Numbers for both Teams.


Field limited to 75 teams and 20 solo eventers.

Grades will comprise of Open Men, Open Women, Vet. Men, Vet Women & Mixed.

The teams events will be run under a normal relay format i.e. runners tag 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 is uncompleted after 2 hrs 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 are provided with race pack and must list runners full names in race order.

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

Four persons’ teams start at 9am:

Leg Start Mandatory Start Cutoff
1 9am 12pm
2 on arrival of runner or 11am 2pm
3 on arrival of runner or 1pm 4pm
4 on arrival of runner or 3pm 6pm

Runners should be experienced ½ marathon or marathon competitors willing and able to cope with extremes in temperature and altitude.

Race Start Location / Directions

The Race Start is at the Molesworth Cob Cottage. To drive there, take SHW 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. Tent /Campervan site toilets only.

N.B.: Competitors wishing to drive through Molesworth Station from Hanmer on the evening of Friday 18th November or the morning of Saturday 19th November (Race Day) can do so provided that DOC  opens the road to the public in early November (as they did the last two years).

Should DOC decide to keep the road closed this year, then Maurice will open the gate at the Hanmer end between 6pm & 7pm on Friday and between 5am & 5:30am on Saturday. Please note that if you do not reach the Locked Gate location at the bridge over the Clarence River adjacent to the Old Acheron Accommodation House within these specified Time Windows you will be locked out and unable to drive through Molesworth Station to the Start Point. Allow 45 minutes to drive from Hanmer to the Locked Gate.


Maurice Brown
Old Renwick Road
R D 1
Tel: (03) 57 84661


Mieke Holtrop


Race Distances and Course Description

Team Event:
In an effort to reduce traffic congestion at race start – no vehicle will be permitted to stop until the Acheron river bridge at 10.9km. 1 drink station (water only) will be provided before the ascent of Ward Pass. Also please note no vehicle is to ‘back track’ over the course during the event.

Printable PDF overview map of the full route here

Leg One:  Download Leg 1 Detail Map
km from start
Start   Molesworth Gate. Short sharp undulating run, sharp corners and steep pulls leading up to Wards Pass, then steady zig zag up to summit.
9.0km   Summit Ward Pass. 1145m. Steep descent into isolated flat and the
10.9km   Acheron River Bridge, – flat open country excellent running to
13.8km   Saxon River Bridge, similar country through to
20.0km   End of Leg One, Sign post west end of Isolated Flat.
 Leg Two: Download Leg 2 Detail Map
km from start km from start of stage
Start   300m of flat before a steady climb to summit of Isolated Saddle.
21.2km 1.2km Isolated Saddle, easy down hill to
22.2km 2.2km Red Gate turn off. Undulating easy run to
24.4km 4.4km Severn River Bridge. Short, sharp sections through to
35.9km 15.9km Yarra River Bridge. Similar country through to end of Leg 2 at a point
42.0km 22.0km being 2.5km passed pylon no. 1078. Leg Two Ends. Clearly signed.
 Leg Three:  Download Leg 3 Detail Map
km from start km from start of stage
Start   road closely follows Acheron river with several steep pulls around bluffs to
50.5km 8.5km Five Mile stream. Road gradually eases, and the valley widens as the confluence of the Acheron and Clarence Rivers become visible at -
58.5km 16.5km Historic Acheron Accommodation House. Road descends gently to the Molesworth boundary on the Clarence River Bridge.
58.9km 16.9km Clarence River Bridge. Public road from here to Hanmer. Crossing the bridge the road follows the Clarence upstream to a gate and
63.4km 21.4km End Leg Three.
  Leg Four:  Download Leg 4 Detail Map
km from start km from start of stage
Start   road continues adjacent Clarence River gently climbing towards Jollies Pass and Jack’s Pass roads. 6.7km Jollies Pass Road, continue past this intersection to
75.4km 12.0km Jack’s Pass Road and the final mountain. One final effort up a steep 2.9km to the top and
78.3km 14.9km Jack’s Pass Summit. Road then descends steeply into the outskirts of Hanmer township, turn left at end of Jack’s Pass road. Turn left again into Chisholm Place. There you find the finish line! And a beer.
84.7km 21.3km The Race is Over!!! You’ve done it!


This year we have booked the Heritage Hanmer Springs’ Ballroom for the Prize Giving Function on Saturday evening starting at 8 pm. This venue is in the centre of the town at 1 Conical Hill Road.

The Heritage will offer a buffet dinner on Saturday evening from 5:30 pm @ $35 pp. If pre-booked before October 31st, a $5 discount pp applies.

Heritage Hanmer also has accommodation available at reduced rates:

Hotel/Garden rooms – Twin share or Double – $195.00. This includes a full cooked and continental breakfast buffet for 2 people.

3 Bedroom Villas – $320.00 room only (up to 4 people) – buffet breakfast can be added for an additional $20.00 per person.

For reservations, please ring 0800 368 888 or email 


ENTER NOW for an event and a weekend of great fun 

click onto online button


More Information

Results:2015 (4 person)  2015 (2 person) 2015 (Solo) 2013 2012 2011 2010 2009 2008 2007 2006 2005 2004 2003 2002 2001 2000 1999 1998 1997 1996 1995

Race Records

Photos: 2013-1 2013-2 2013-3 2012 Before 2012
2015 via Facebook Di Chesmar:

Videos: 2011 FaF Racing Four Person Relay (YouTube)
2008 Molesworth Ultra 84k (YouTube)

Comments are closed.