Sir Ed himself said “In some ways I believe I epitomise the average New Zealander: I have modest abilities, I combine these with a good deal of determination, and I rather like to succeed.” These typically modest words were spoken by arguably the most famous New Zealander – a sporting and adventure hero, who scaled heights and reached places where no human being had gone before. And hence the pull of the Hillary Trail for so many today: we all want a challenge!
The Trail follows a variety of terrain and scenery – many claim a magical pull of the trail and keep coming back for more. Stunning views throughout the trail, rugged West coast beaches, magnificent native bush including the hundreds of year old native Kauri trees. Past large waterfalls and sand dunes, along cliff tops or through marshlands – there is something for everyone.
The 80km course follows the Hillary Trail from the Arataki Visitors Centre West of Titirangi all the way to Muriwai, via Huia, Whatipu, Karekare, Piha and Bethells. There is no denying, this is a tough challenge – mentally and physically. With 3,700m climb, the current fastest time is 8 hours 23 minutes. Many would think this seems a long time for 80km but, those that have done would agree – this is no ordinary 80km.
The 34km course follows the Hillary Trail from Piha to Muriwai and the 16km course follows the Hillary Trail from Bethells to Muriwai. The 16km course is also open to walkers.
The Official Hillary Trail is four-day (approx. 75km) tramping trail through the Waitakere Ranges and along Auckland’s west coast. Named the ‘Hillary Trail’ after pre-eminent mountaineer and explorer Sir Edmund Hillary. The Hillary Trail officially opened on 11 January 2010 and connects a network of existing regional park tracks and basic backpacker campgrounds. Our 80km event adds approximately 5km extra to the official Hillary Trail with a loop at the start, some extra distance at the end and a detour at Pararaha to avoid the beach section into Karekare as this is a scientific reserve as such no events are allowed on it.
Since its opening, the lure of the trail to runners has become strong with many New Zealand trail runners attempting and successfully completing the trail. As a regular runner of the Hillary Trail, Shaun Collins from Lactic Turkey Events cannot resist the urge to organise an event along the Trail. And so this event was born.
It’s time to share this trail with the world!
Check out the videos to see what all the fuss is about. The videos showcase the variety of terrain and stunning views.
|The 2016 Event was an epic adventure for all with high heat to start and torrential rain to finish! – check out the video here…||The 2015 Event was a great success- check out the video here…||The very first ever running of The Hillary was on 28th March 2014 and was a great success. Check out the video to see what all the fuss is about….|
Both the Hillary 80km and 34km events are again part of the Oceania Sky Running Series in 2016!
Athletes from both sides of the Tasman Sea will be able to compete head to head in search of points to be crowned the overall Skyrunning Oceania Champion for 2017. The overall winners will go on to represent Australia and New Zealand at the 2018 Skyrunning World Championships.
The rest of the 2017 series is still to be announced but should be similar to 2016 where..overall, there will be 13 races held over eight events, with four brand new Skyraces that will challenge the most accomplished trail runners from both Australia and New Zealand. Check out the other events and competition details at skyrunninganz.com.au
Help raise awareness of kauri dieback
The Hillary course goes through the Waitakere Ranges and this area has been identified as having Kauri that are infected with Kauri dieback. The event permit process has been a long process over nearly two years and one of the main reasons is Kauri dieback. We have worked with the Auckland Council to ensure that we mitigate the risk of the event spreading Kauri dieback. Through these measures and education of participants and supporters we ensure that we are using best practice to minimise the risk of spreading the disease that is affecting New Zealand’s greatest majestic native trees. The event also aims to help raise awareness of the Kauri dieback issue to the wider public. Please ensure you read all the information on Kauri dieback here which outlines what the issue is and what you can do – whether part of the event or in your training in the Waitakere Ranges. Lets all help raise awareness of the issue!
Images of the Hillary Trail
Check out the gallery for a full set of images of various jaunts along the Hillary Trail, but here is a teaser!