News & Updates

18 January 2023 • Mountain Running

Mt Maunganui to host New Zealand Mountain Running Champs

Mt Maunganui will host the 2023 New Zealand Mountain Running Championships on 18 March.

The iconic Mount Maunganui will play host to the New Zealand Mountain Running Championships on Saturday 18 March for the first time in 24 years as the annual event makes a welcome return to the hugely popular beachside location.

Championship events will take place for senior, U20 and masters athletes with the event run in conjunction with the Mauao Challenge, which features a 4km community walk/run up and down the mountain.

Athletics NZ out of stadia co-ordinator John Bowden is hugely excited by the 2023 edition of the New Zealand Mountain Running Championships, which will act as the uphill/downhill trial race for the World Mountain and Trail Running Championships to be held in Austria in June.

“As an organisation we were keen to take the event to a more urban setting and we thought Mt Manganui was perfect in this regard, particularly given its history hosting the annual King and Queen of the Mountain race,” said John.

“The Mount remains one of New Zealand’s most popular tourist destinations, so all participants and spectators have easy access to the Mount Hot Pools located at the foot of the mountain or many of the nearby bars and restaurants.”

The event will provide many great viewing opportunities for spectators while music will be pumped out on various part of the route, to help generate more atmosphere to the 2023 event.

The senior men’s and women’s races will take place over 11.6km with 710m up + down comprising one long lap (which reaches the summit) of 4km followed by three short laps of approximately 2.6km. The U20 and masters event will take place over 6.6km with one long and one short lap. The community event is one long lap. The race is predominantly run on a gravel path.

The 4km community walk/run – which will include the option for participants with a disability to compete – will offer a chance to broaden the mountain running experience to a wider cross section of people. The community event is free to children under-12 accompanied by an adult.

New Zealand Mountain running international Michael Sutton, who is part of the LOC at Athletics Tauranga, said: “The philosophy was to have a stadia-feel to the event and to get greater community involvement, so the Mount was a logical location from that standpoint.

“It is only the second time since 2014 the New Zealand Mountain Running Championships has been held in the North Island, so we look forward to seeing a few new faces. We wanted a fast course, which is a bit less technical to make it appealing to more people.”

The prizegiving will take place at the Astrolabe Brewbar at 6pm.

Organisers would like to acknowledge the work of The Mauao Trust as custodians of Mauao. 

To enter the event which takes place two months today go here