General Information

Home/Information/General Information
General Information 2017-10-18T22:11:10+00:00

24th February 2018 – 16km trail run/walk or 35/80km trail run



Overview of Course

Check out the videos to see what all the fuss is about. The videos showcase the variety of terrain and stunning views.

The 2017 Event had perfect conditions with many records falling – the video focuses more on the stunning scenery and how small the event has on the beast of a landscape – check out the video here… 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….

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.  The 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.

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.  There is no denying, this is a tough challenge – mentally and physically. With 3,700m climb, the current fastest time is 8 hours 44 minutes. Many would think this seems a long time for 75km but, those that have done would agree – this is no ordinary 75km.

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 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.

Refer Course Details for a detailed description, map of the course and the elevation profile.



Past Times & HT Honours Board

Current race records are as follows:


  • Men – Danny Garrett 8 hrs 07 (2017)
  • Women – Gill Fowler 9 hrs 55 (2016)


  • Men – Gene Beveridge 2 hrs 45 (2017)
  • Women – Marisa Ruhter 3 hrs 33 (2017)


  • Men – Tommy Hayes 1 hr 20 (2017)
  • Women – Pamela Ens 1 hr 49 (2014)



The official Hillary Trail (75km) has been open since 2010 and over 100 people have now run the Hillary Trail and registered their name on the Hillary Trail Honours Board.  The Hillary Trail Honours Board is a resource and honours board for those brave souls that have run the trail in one effort!  It records all finishers and records for the Hillary Trail.

  • Currently the fastest time is held by Nelson Myers-Daly and the time is 8 hours 44 minutes from Arataki to Muriwai.
  • At the other end of the scale the slowest recorded time is 22 hours 51 minutes done by a Crossfit group as a fundraiser.  They walked the whole thing (not one step of running) and had some big breaks along the way.
  • The average time to date for the Arataki to Muriwai direction is around 13 hours
  • Michael Rodliffe has the record for the most runs of the HT with 13


You are welcome to walk in the 16km event.  You can also walk the 34km event but you need to be aware of the cut-offs, below,  which are generous but you’ll need to be walking at a decent pace to meet them.  No walkers are allowed in the 80km sorry.


80km Relay Teams

The relay option which is open for teams of 2-4 people.  The relay is limited to 20 teams.

The changeover points are at Whatipu, Piha, and Bethells which creates legs of 26km, 20km, 18km and 16km.

Transportation to changeover points is the teams responsibility although there are currently bus tickets from the finish line to the start venues at Arataki, Piha and Bethells.

The 80km Relay option will be limited to 20 teams.



For the 80km course there will be a cut-off at Piha (45km) of 3pm (9 hours running time) and at Bethells (63km) of 6:30pm (12.5 hours of running time).

For the 34km course there will be a cut-off at Bethells (18km) of 5pm (6 hours of running time).

Runners may not continue on the 80 or 34km course if they fail to meet these cut-offs.  These cut-offs are based on you leaving the aid station by this time.  They must check into the timing station and must make their way to the finish by car or by transport provided by the race organiser after the last participant has arrived at that timing station. If a runner does make their own way to the finish by car they must notify an official at that timing station before leaving.

Aid Stations

Aid stations will be available throughout the course.

  • The 80km course will have 6 aid stations at approximately 14km, 26km, 36km, 45km, 63km and 74km.  Water only at 66km.
  • The 34km course will have 2 aid stations at approximately 18km and 28km. Water only at 22km.
  • The 16km course will have one aid station at approximately 10km.  Water only at 5km.

Aid stations will be well stocked with a selection of food and liquid, some basic medical supplies and a truckload of encouragement from the volunteers manning them!  Food and liquid will include at least water, coke, bananas, oranges, chips, biscuits, lollies, sandwich making gear (jam, honey, peanut butter etc).

It is advised that you also have your own liquid and food supplies in between these aid stations.

Summary of 80km Event Aid Stations

Aid Station Location Distance External Support Allowed 80km Drop Bags Available
Huia 14km Yes Yes
Whatipu 26km No Yes
Karekare 36km No Yes
Piha 45km Yes Yes
Bethells 63km Yes Yes
Halfway along Te Henga Walkway – WATER ONLY 66km No No
Constable Road 74km Yes No

Compulsory Clothing and Equipment

The safety of our participants is important to us.  The weather in the Waitakere Ranges is unpredictable and can change to varying extremes in a short space of time. The tracks are technical, demanding and isolated. For these reasons we insist every participant carries certain minimum clothing and safety equipment.

Each participant’s compulsory gear may be checked by race officials at registration and may be randomly checked during the event.  A participant found to not have an item of the compulsory gear may be penalised with additional time or disqualified.  It is good practice to carry this type of gear in training runs so you should have it lying around the house!

Each competitor must carry the following (relevant to the 80km and 34km courses): Whistle, wind and waterproof seam sealed jacket*, thermal gloves* and hat/Thir*, polypropylene or thermal long sleeve shirt, at least 1.5l of fluid, a survival blanket, a mobile phone and a first aid kit. A decent first aid kit must contain as a minimum: 4cm width crepe bandage OR tri-angular bandage, a non-adherent dressing or gauze pad, 20cm fabric plaster strip, 4 plasters.

This gear is compulsory for the 80km and 34km courses and recommended for the 16km course.

Compulsory gear will not be relaxed under any circumstances for the 80km participants. The weather often changes dramatically and unexpectedly in the Waitakere Ranges and as the the 80km event covers such a large pat of the day, varying conditions are expected and we need our runners safe at all times.

* These items may be relaxed (not required) on the day for the 34km course, dependent on the weather.  You will be notified of this via a facebook post by 8am on the morning and by the volunteer loading the buses at Muriwai.



  • All participants must have at least 1 litre of water with them as they leave the Bethells aid station.  This section of the course is very exposed and last year was extremely hot.  Many suffered from heat and lack of water.
  • Headlamps are required by all after 5pm.  If you have dropped headlamps at Huia from the mornings headlamp section then we will have these at Bethells for you to collect.


Waitakere Ranges Park Stewardship

For the event it is essential we promote and protect the uniqueness of the area. Five main things need to be adhered to.

  • Keep to marked trails to avoid vegetation damage and tracking.
  • Use all provided foot washing stations to ensure we reduce the risk of spreading Kauri Dieback
  • No dogs
  • Obey all instructions from the Park Rangers and event marshals
  • Ensure all rubbish is taken with you and check when refueling you have not dropped anything

And some other points to note to ensure minimal impact on the park and its other users and hence the continued running of the event:

  • Please where possible car pool to the start with other participants to minimise the number of cars on the small windy roads.
  • Take care driving on the park roads, i.e. some are metal roads and most are narrow and windy in places
  • Please be courteous to other users of the park. Please, if you come across other users of the park slow down to a walk, smile, say “hello, nice day isn’t it?”, and then allow them through. You should only lose a couple of seconds and it will ensure other park users have a good experience upon meeting any of our race participants.

Course Markings

The course will be clearly marked using red arrows, fluoro ribbon pegged to trees, flags on white fibreglass poles and lots of cheery faced course marshals! The majority of the course is along the official Hillary Trail which is marked with Hillary Trail Marker poles and Fluro orange tree markers with the Hillary Trail logo on them.

Kauri Dieback Foot Wash Stations

As per the details on the Kauri Dieback Management Page we are very lucky to have permission to have the event because Kauri Dieback is such a big issue for the Waitakere Ranges.  There are many steps being taken to minimise the risk of the event spreading the disease.  The specific measures you will encounter on the course are:

  • Lots of emails reminding you to bring clean shoes to the start line
  • 17 Footbaths along the route.  These will have a foot brush at the start to scrub off loose dirt.  After scrubbing your shoes, you then speed walk thru 2 long 10cm high trays filled with a foam mat soaked in Trigene (the disinfectant solution used to kill the spores) .  You can walk/run along the mat as long as you get at least 2 footfalls per foot on the mats.  This process should slow you down about 10 second at each station.
  • At 2 points along the 80km course (Whatipu and Piha) the Auckland Council Biosecuirity team will take a dirt sample from your shoes to see how many Kauri Dieback spores are found in the sample.    You will scrub your shoes using the provided brushes and sample dirt will be collected in a tray underneath the brushes.  This process should take 10-15 seconds.
  • There will be a final foot wash station at the finish to clean your shoes so you don’t take the disease to other parks or regions.

We will have people at all stations guiding you through and ensuring we have 100% compliance (and no-one will be disadvantaged as you all have to do these measures).  This will help our case for making the event an annual one and provide some good research data for the scientists to help manage the issue in the future.

Buses to the start lines of all the courses

To cater for people who are participating unsupported by someone else in a car, we have arranged buses from the finish to the start of the each courses.  Tickets are available if you haven’t purchased them yet from

The buses go from the event centre/finish at Muriwai to the starts for the 80km at Arataki Visitors Centre, 34km event at Piha and 16km event at Bethells  Buses depart the event carpark at Murwai at 4.15am, 8.45am and 11.30am respectively.

From the starts there will be a gear return back to the finish.

There is no afternoon shuttles to the starts of the courses.


Commemorative Event Tees

For 2018 – shirts will be provided as part of your entry fee.  The design will be the same but we will change the colour depending on availability and a vote by you lot later in 2017!

* Shirts included for first 550 entrants and some sizes may not be available to later entrants


The Hillary Customised Thir!

Thir Headband

Get your special Hillary event customised Thir (new 2018 design still to be finalised).

These are included in the race pack for all 80km entrants.  For the rest of you or your supporters…purchase your customised Thir Bands for $22 as you enter or if you have already entered here

Thir Bands are multi-functional headwear with at least 12 ways to wear it on your head. They offer protection from the elements, and form an attractive piece of head, or hair wear. You can carry it on your wrist, or even on your ankle, and they’ve even been worn as leg and arm warmers!

They are manufactured from EnduroCool 100% polyester micro-fiber, which is wind resistant, breathable, and wicks moisture. When washed the Thir Band is colour fast, dries in minutes, and retains its elasticity.

Thir Bands are stitched and formed on a specialized machine. This leaves a tube that has no irritating seams, allows the fabric to retain it’s shape, and gives a tremendous amount of strength to the finished garment. The ‘stitch free’ process allows Thir Band to support up to 150KG (over 300 pounds!) of weight.

Post Event Breakfast

A good hearty breakfast to help the recovery, a time to socialise and re-live the previous days achievements.  Limited tickets available.Vevo  This is available to all competitors/supporters/family.  The breakfast will be held at the same venue as the prizegiving.

Vevo will provide the competitors post event breakfast for $25 a ticket.  They will be serving a breakfast trio for each person which is made up of :

  • Coconut chia pudding with mango puree and freeze dried raspberries
  • Smashed avocado bagel with mint, basil, feta and quinoa
  • Roast 5 spice pork belly with smokey black beans and coriander

Purchase your breakfast tickets for $25 as you enter or if you have already entered purchase here –


On Course Photography

Allan and the team from Photos4Sale will be out on the course at several stunning locations on the day.  Keep an eye out for the “Photos4sale Ahead” signs!  All the past Hillary event photos on this site are taken by Photos4Sale

Photos4sale 197mm_P4S_logo