The Catchment Ultra

The 50km Catchment Ultra starts at 6:30am. Participants in the Ultra will be transported by bus from Race HQ (Ferry Reserve, Ballance) to the start of your event at the top of Turitea Road.

The course remain unchanged from the course introduced in 2018. The Catchment Ultra starts at the top of Turitea Road, traversing the popular Dam Block route to Greens Road from where it heads up to South Range Road via a private farm road. While it is neither rough nor technical, the course does test runners with a series of long, challenging hills. As reward for your efforts, there will be breathtaking views over the Manawatu and Tararua regions. The Catchment Ultra offers a unique opportunity to run along a private farm road as well as South Range Road – roads not accessible to the public at any other time of the year.

Running on top of the Tararuas next to the water catchment area on the undulating South Range Road and then through the windfarm on North Range Road (following the same route as the North Range Traverse for the last 25km), makes for a beautifully scenic run. The stunning vistas and easy terrain underfoot for most of the way, combine to offer a very enjoyable ultramarathon experience. Once you reach the woolshed on Hall Block Road, it is only another 5.5km of steep descent to the bottom of Hall Block Road, from where a short stretch along Gorge Road takes you back to the finish at the Ferry Reserve. Relax and grab some sustenance while you wait for the afternoon prize giving.

Aid stations: Aid stations for the Catchment Ultra will be located at approximately the 7km, 17km, 26km, 36km and 44km marks. While adequate aid station facilities will be provided (water, electrolyte drink, fruit), these should not be relied upon as your sole source of hydration and nutrition.

Cut-off times: The cut-off time for the event is 3pm, giving participants in the Catchment Ultra 8.5 hours to finish the race. Participants who have not reached the 25km point at the Pahiatua Track after 5 hours (by 11:30am) will not be allowed to continue the second half of the race.

Entry info

This year’s event has been cancelled.

Parking and transport

Parking space is at Race HQ (Ferry Reserve). Please park here and NOT on Gorge Road or at the Bridge Cafe. While ample parking is available, we request that you consider the environment and carpool to the event as far as possible.

Buses will be available at Race HQ to transport all eligible pre-entrants to the start of the event. These buses leave at 5:00am sharp, so please be there in time to make your way to the bus.

Alternatively, the bus will also do a pick-up from the Summerhill Shopping Centre en route (please be there by 5:45am if you want to make use of this option). Please note that you still need to make your own way back into town from the finish after the event.

Participants making use of late entry into the Catchment Ultra need to arrange their own transport to the start of the event. Drop-offs only, as there is no parking available at the start on Turitea Road.

Safety info

The course of the Catchment Ultra traverses hazardous terrain, potentially including stream crossings, mud and uneven surfaces. The Ultra follows an exposed route through the wind farms of the northern Tararuas, where participants may have to face strong winds and rain which can combine to create very cold conditions.

Please acquaint yourself with the safety information and compulsory/recommended gear lists provided on the Safety Info page.

Route profile

The Catchment Ultra starts at a height of 80m and finishes at 70m above sea level. However, don’t let this fool you into thinking it is flat. In between, you face a number of gnarly hills, the highest towering to just over 600m above sea level. The total vertical ascent of the Catchment Ultra is approximately 1 750m.


The route

For a high-resolution (3MB) version of the route map, click on the image below.