This is it!
3 Weeks to go till the “Ultra Easy” this includes some information you are going to find really useful, the course outline, distances and estimated times, as well as what will be at the aide stations.
As we get closer we want to give you as much information as possible to help you prepare the best you can and take some of the workload out of the event weekend, especially during registration.
This is the same course as last year with the start and finish line at Luggate. Camping is available this year right at the start line! Kingan Road reserve, $10 per person per night. In regards to having children at the finish line – there is plenty of space for them to come and support you, but there is a creek running alongside the finish line, and cars coming and going throughout the day from the car park, so make sure that you are aware of where the kids are.
Weather – the long range forecast is looking like good and hot weather again this year. Last year, the event was on in the HOTTEST day of the summer. So it’s a good reminder that it is Summer, anything could happen out there. Our main concern is dehydration and overheating, and it is difficult for crew vehicles to get to some places on the course.
We suggest you plan to carry plenty of water, and electrolytes, even though there are aide stations on course, it could take you longer than you think to get to the next one!
Compulsory Gear – included in this newsletter is the final compulsory gear list. This is the gear you must carry for all the event. You’ll note that everyone has to carry the same gear in each category / event regardless of your start time. Please ensure you have all the gear with you and use it accordingly. There will be random gear checks, and all the first finishers will be checked. Would be a bugger to be disqualified after you’ve just won your category!

Minimum Gear: Yep it could well be 30+ degrees at the finish at 4pm… but up at 2000m above sea level it could very easily be windy and feel absolutely freezing. if you take a wee tumble and have to sit and wait to be rescued you will appreciate the extra layers! So make sure you take them with you:

  • Mid-weight fleece or merino thermal top – those super light insulated jackets are also good. (something you can easily pull over your running T)
  • Seam-sealed (waterproof) jacket. Shell is fine.
  • Survival blanket/bag
  • Thir Band/Buff or warm hat.
  • Warm gloves
  • 2L water carrying capacity

We will be assessing the weather – if it looks like snow on the tops (has happened in previous years) we might come back to you with an additional requirement of a long sleeve thermal top and thermal leggings (not compression or fashion leggings! Thermal = actually keep you warm).

You will need a Headlight too and reflective strips on your pack/vest for running through Wanaka before dawn.

Event T-Shirts
Last CHANCE to get a T-shirt – must order by Monday 14th Jan 2019.
This year we are scaling back the ‘busyness’ of our dry-fit T-Shirt which will have the Big Easy logo on left lapel.
Sizes are:
XS – (approx sizing 8)
S – (approx sizing 10)
M – (approx sizing 12)
L – (approx sizing 14)
XL – (approx sizing 16)
There will be limited opportunities to swap your tops out to a new size as we will only have 1-2 extras in each size so please go to the website and check the sizing there –
Briefing notes – the briefing will be held 6pm at the start/finish area end of Kingan Road– you need to be there – I will have last minute info and updates- but these are the key things you need to know from the briefing – might as well read them now and get ahead of the game!

Thanks for coming, blah, blah,…

3am is an early start so there won’t be any last minute registrations just before then. The only toilet will be a port-a-loo – best to go at your accomm before heading down to the start line.

We will have reflective markers leading you all the way to the bottom of Roys Peak track. We will have a few marshals at crucial points. We have a lovely tail end Charlie so if you are not confident in the dark hang back with him and he’ll look after you until the sun comes up.

The first aid station you come to is now just over the Cardrona River in the DoC car park at Albert Town – from here you will follow reflective markers all the way through Albert Town, over Mt Iron (not a mountain at all – more like a brief ‘non flat’ bit) and then down through Wanaka.

At the base of Roy’s Peak track. I will meet you here, count you off, you can collect a drop bag, there will be a full aid station here. Good spot for supporters to see you go by (if they can be bothered at that time of the morning).

Now you are just following the only trail that leads you up the hill to Roy’s Peak. It is a packed gravel track.

There will be a Medic just before the top of Alpha where there is some nice interesting ‘steep’ sections. There will be a marshal and some more drinks and snacks at the top of Alpha or just over as you start to head down (depends on how close he can get his vehicle).

Once on the Spotts Creek track there won’t be much marking – it’s a Department of Conservation (DOC) track so it’s easy to follow. Any intersections however, will be clearly marked.

Bottom of this section you cross over Cardrona Valley road –The road will NOT be closed, the traffic will not be stopped for you so please look both ways before crossing!

There will be a full aid station here including bag drop number 2. This is a great spot for your supporters to hang-out and wait for you to come through. You must leave this aid station in good form by 12.30pm. We will be strict on this cut-offs I’m afraid. If you get pulled you will be given a ride back into town/finish area.

There will be lots of markers to get you across the paddock and started on the Criffel track. Again this is a DOC track and like all the really obvious tracks only the intersections will be marked (plus the odd ‘comfy marker’.) When you get to the 1000m contour you can fill-up with water out of a creek. (first obvious creek you come to). The next water container is still 5km away! (Crucial to fill up at Cardrona Aid station before leaving. This next section is the hottest and its all up hill pretty much.

From the top of Criffel it’s a pretty good clear track all the way to the finish. Lots of markings at the intersections… a few comfy markers (comfy markers aren’t necessary to show you where to go cos there is only one way… they’re just to re-assure you)

When you get to the deer fence surrounding the Southern Hemisphere Proving Grounds you now follow the fence to your right and 2km to the Snow Farm Lodge. This is where the Marathon start is and your 3rd full aid station and 3rd bag drop area. If you need a pacer – this is where they can join you for the final 34kms.

You need to leave here smiling and skipping by 6pm – yes I have given you an extra 30mins due to the heat! or we will pull you off and escort you back to the finish via vehicle.

After a quick decent into the Meg valley (you do not follow the Marathons extra 10k loop! You won’t even see it unless you happen to be there at 1pm for their start!) you get back to the wonderful climbing all the way passed Mt Pisa and to the next aid station as you climb out of Sally’s Pinch. This is a full aid station but it’s 15km since the last one! Best you fill everything before leaving the Snow farm lodge aid station!

Now the final down hill starts – about 20km and some of it is quite rough under foot so you really need to watch where you’re going and NOT be looking at the scenery (a runner fell 2 years ago and dislocated his shoulder – keep your eyes front and centre!) Hopefully it’ll be cloudy (and cool) so you won’t see anything anyway.

We’ll have water half way down (10ks from previous aid station) then 2kms after you get off ‘the hill’ Boom! You are finished!

There is food and refreshments awaiting you at the finish. Free Beer and Hot chips after 8pm to encourage you to hang around and cheer on the late finishers!

Prise giving 10am Sunday Morning at the Luggate Hotel – plunger coffee and a couple of pastries provided.

A couple more things;
  • There will be water, electrolytes, and food (fruit and chips) at the aide stations –
  • If you come across an accident it is important that you stop and help, send the next runner on to alert the nearest marshal. If you have a phone you can ring the race director on 021 284 6844 or if an emergency ring 111! Cheers.
Take it easy getting to the event and we’ll see you on Friday the 25th!