The trails making up the WUU2k Trail Ultra Marathon course constitute a mixture of single track and four-wheel drive trails with a few road crossings. Below you can find a brief description of the course broken down into sections you will have to cover between each marked Marshal Point and/or official Aid Station. The main difference with the 42km Marathon course is that you will go down to the south coast and run along the beach before you do a ‘suffer fest’ up the infamous Tip Track.
The total distance of the course is roughly 60kms with a nett elevation gain of 2,500+ meters. The peaks you will pass through are:
- Mount Kaukau (445 meters)
- Crow’s Nest (385 meters)
- Makara Peak (412 meters)
- Wrights Hill (356 meters)
- Tip Track Point (400 meters x 2)
- Mt Albert (182 meters)
- Mount Victoria – Finish line (197 meters)
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Start to Mt Kaukau
Elevation start: 202m
Elevation end: 445m
Approximate distance to Mt Kaukau: 1.5km
The first climb will take you to Mt Kaukau in just over 1.5km, where you will be greeted by a Marshall. From here you will head towards Makara peak in the distance. On a clear day you will experience stunning views across the harbour and towards the south coast. Mixed terrain with hard packed single trail.
Kaukau to Makara Road
Elevation start: 445m
Elevation end: 228m
Approximate distance to Makara Road: 10km
By the time you get to the first aid station at Makara Road you will have covered 11.5kms of the total distance. On the way you will pass the infamous Crow’s nest (350meters), from which point you will follow an undulating trail to Makara Road. Fuel up before you start your climb up to Makara Peak from across the road. Undulating single trail with some rocky sections.
Makara Road to Makara Peak
Elevation start: 228m
Elevation end: 412m
Approximate distance to Makara Peak: 2.2km
This is a straight up climb with a single trail zig zag to start with all the way to the top of Makara Peak. At the top you will be greeted by another cheerful Marshall before you head down to the Car Park.
Makara Peak to Makara Car Park
Elevation start: 412m
Elevation end: 140m
Approximate distance to Car Park: 8km
This is where you take the 4wd track and then on to the Makara Car Park where the second aid station awaits. 4wd Track and Soft single trail through native bush with some muddy sections if there has been rain. You’ll be enjoying Leaping Lizard, Possum Bait Line, Nikau Valley, Missing Link and Lazy Fern on your way to the Car Park.
Makara Car Park to Wrights Hill
Elevation start: 140m
Elevation end: 356m
Approximate distance to Wrights Hill: 4.5km
You will be greeted by a cheerful Marshall at the top of Wrights Hill before you get onto the Zealandia fence line track and head towards the Wind Turbine. Soft single trail through native bush.
Wrights Hill to Wind Turbine
Elevation start: 356m
Elevation end: 399m
Approximate distance to Wind Turbine: 5km
This part of the course is undulating as you follow the Zealandia fence line. You will feel the net effect of the run catching up on you. You will be able to refuel and get energised at the aid station before you head towards the Tip Track. The trail is wide with hard packed clay surface and some rocky sections.
Wind Turbine to Tip Track
Elevation start: 399m
Elevation end: 401m
Approximate distance to Tip Track: 4km
This part of the trail is called Car Parts extension and you will be on well-maintained single track all the way to the Tip Track. At the top of the Tip Track you will be greeted by a Marshall who will direct you on to the 60km Ultra Course. You will go down to the south coast instead of down the Tip Track as the Marathon course does.
Tip Track to South Coast
Elevation start: 400m
Elevation end: 10m
Approximate distance to South Coast: 6km
This is a long downhill on some mixed trails of single track and rocky terrain. Once you are at the bottom of the coast you are basically at sea level and you will continue towards Happy Valley road along the Red Rocks track. Enjoy the flat bit as what comes next will have you cursing yourself and the organising team.
South Coast and Tip Track
Elevation start: 10m
Elevation middle: 400m
Elevation end: 10m
Approximate distance to cover: 14km (including Tip Track up down)
You will go along the road for a bit and go up Ohiro Bay Road until you come to the infamous Tip Track. Well there is no turning back here, up you go. There is no shame in walking when faced with the Tip Track at this stage, unless you happen to have super powers – as some of you no doubt have. You will be greeted by the same cheerful Marshal you saw before. Please restrain yourself from punching them when they make any such comments as ‘good job’. Now you turn around and head back all the way down and cross over to get to Happy Valley Road and make your way to Mt Albert. After this experience you will be glad to know what lies ahead are just two bumps.
Happy Valley Road to Mt Albert
Elevation start: 10m
Elevation end: 162m
Approximate distance to Mt Albert: 4km
Mt Albert is your last aid station before you head on to make your final push towards Mount Victoria. Trail is wide single track with some minor climbs.
Mt Albert to Mount Victoria
Elevation start: 162m
Elevation end: 197m
Approximate Distance to Mt Victoria: 5km
From Mt Albert you will be getting on the Southern walkway as you make your way to the Finish line. Savour your achievement as you climb up to the Lookout and imagine the taste of well-deserved cold beer: You have accomplished the 60km WUU2k Ultra Marathon!
How can you train for it?
The organizers put much emphasis on the fact that the WUU2K is a tough event, and rightly so. The course is promising to be more than challenging with more than 2500m accumulated elevation gain for the ultra distance. If this wasn’t enough, Wellington winter can only make things even more difficult. Not that we do not wish a lovely sunny winter day for the event, but it is hard to know what is going to come on race day. The bottom line is, the WUU2K is a challenge to be taken seriously but quite achievable with a bit of preparation.
To get you ready for the WUU2K we are offering coaching for everyone who is registered for the WUU2K. Check out this special offer for training for the WUU2K.