The scenic Buller Gorge Marathon course commences at Hawks Crag and heads up the gorge to a turning point near Berlin’s, then back down the scenic, undulating Buller Gorge Highway to a finish at Victoria Square, Westport.
Buller Gorge Course – Half, Full and Relay
- The full marathon and full relay events start at the eastern end of Hawks Crag and heads up the gorge for approximately 8km to a turning point 380 metres past Berlins. The course then proceeds down the gorge, where the first changeover for the relay will be on the east side of Stitts Bluff. The second relay changeover is at Ohikaiti (the half marathon start) and the third is approximately 50 metres east of the Scout Lodge along the Scout Lodge straight.
- The course includes three testing hills at Tiroroa, Ohikaiti, and Omanu and then it heads into Westport to the finish through the chute at Victoria Square.
- The half marathon is run over the second half of the marathon course and commences 100 metres east of the Ohikaiti River Bridge with the finish through the chute in Victoria Square.
- There are no laps of the track to complete, so for those runners who are still capable of mustering a sprint finish at the end of the marathon, the distance from the post office corner to the finish is 248 metres. The portion of Brougham Street to Queen Street will be closed to traffic except official and emergency. Participants enter Victoria Square via the main gates at the intersection of Brougham and Russell Streets.
- The course has been certified by a registered surveyor and should always be run on the right hand side of the road facing oncoming traffic – including the Buller Bridge.
- The assembly points for the half marathon are just east of the Ohikaiti River Bridge and for the full marathon and relay is at the off-road parking area 200 metres east of Hawks Crag. Please listen and respond to the marshals when asked to move to the starting area as the full marathon participants only line up first followed by relay participants 5 minutes later.
Course – Buller Heritage 10 Fun Run – Kawatiri Coastal Trail
- The Buller Heritage 10 starts in the carpark at the Buller Bridge picnic area accessed off the Esplanade. The trail follows the footpath and crosses the Buller River on the pedestrian bridge before heading right through farmland on the Kawatiri Coastal Trail. The course consists of 2.2 metre wide flat gravel paths, timber boardwalks and timber bridges. Please be aware of the track edges as there are some drop offs in certain areas which could result in ankle injuries, slips, trips or falls.
- The course heads out to the estuary near Carters Beach and then turns around at the whare and returns on the same trail back to the Buller Bridge picnic area. Runners then travel along the Esplanade trail to the Toki Poutangata Bridge, over Adderley Street and join the main course on Palmerston Street to finish through the chute at Victoria Square.
- The trail will only be closed for 30 minutes from the start so other two-way traffic including cyclists may be encountered for the latter part of the run. Some may also walk the course. The 2 timber bridges also have maximum number of people limits. Please follow the instructions of the marshals who will manage access onto and across them.
- The assembly point for the Buller Heritage 10 is in the carpark at the Buller Bridge picnic area just off the Esplanade. Please park your vehicle down the Esplanade roadside leaving the carpark free for official vehicles. Listen carefully to the starting marshals when you are asked to line up at the starting area.