Oparara Wilderness Trail Run

Submitted by Radek on Mon, 04/07/2016 - 6:15pm

By Lynda Pope

To the Residents of the Karamea and Little Wanganui Communities.

A plan is currently being worked on to organise a competitive trail run which will draw entrants from throughout New Zealand.

Trail running is becoming increasingly popular and it is hoped that this event will grow in popularity and become part of the National Events Calendar.

Initially, the first event may only attract around 200 competitors, however, with promotion and good community support, we hope the numbers will escalate and for every competitor there will possibly be on average three support people making the event a major bonus for the Karamea district.

What is proposed is for two, possibly three races to be run simultaneously with a single gun start. A 36 kilometre race will start in the vicinity of the old McCallums Mill site and go up the road to the Oparara Basin where a 20 kilometre race will start. The third will be a 15 km run from the Mill to the Basin. The 36 and 20km races will then follow the Oparara Valley Track , continuing on to the Fenian and out to the Oparara Road by the lime works. From there it will be along Oparara Road on to Waverley Street with the finish line in the domain.

It is at the domain that it is critical that that the event draws the support of the entire community and a festival atmosphere of live music, craft stalls and food and beverage outlets will provide the opportunity for all local organisations to make some money.

It is proposed that the race will be run as a not- for- profit venture, particularly after the first year when there will have been a lot of start up costs to cover, it is hoped that any profits in successive years will be able to be distributed back into the community.

The race organisers will be fully committed to the smooth running of the race both before and after and as a consequence of that it is hoped that a festival committee can be formed with members drawn from the local community.

The race has the oversight, support and mentoring of Dennis Straker who, very successfully runs the Buller Marathon.

After a lot of careful consideration, so as not to clash with other events, it has been decided to run the event over the ANZAC long weekend, Saturday 22nd April.

Competitor registration will be on the Friday night to allow for an early start time on Saturday morning. The advantages of using this long weekend are that the local accommodation providers and service sector businesses may be able to profit if people are given a good reason to stay.

A public meeting will be held at the Karamea Bowling Club on Thurs 14th July at 7.30pm.

Lynda Pope
Race Convener

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