Event Info

Introducing the Tussock of Fire 50km Run (NEW in 2021!)

50km Tracks: Ohakune Mountain Road, Round The Mountain Track then with 3km to go the Lower Taranaki Falls Track. This 50km epic starts with the Ohakune Mountain Road descent, then enters native bush trails. It breaks into open boulder fields and includes the crossing of the Wahianoa River (there is a swing bridge) and finishes with sand, tussock, and rocky terrain at the top of the Rangipo Desert.

The first half of your course is technical and includes big valleys with long climbs which are very exposed in sections.  Once you leave Tukino Access Road you merge with the 32km course and are on a true desert landscape, featuring wind sculptured sands and volcanic rock to the Ohinepango Springs, climbing to the Tama Saddle before descending homeward on well-formed tracks.
50km Elevation: 1912m Up / 2340m Down.

PLUS 32km, 21km, 12km and 6km Run/Walks

32km
Run or Walk

Tracks: Tukino Road start, turning right on the Round The Mountain Track.  Merging with the 21km course (near the Waihohonu Hut) then with 3km to go the Lower Taranaki Falls Track.
Elevation: 775m Up / 700m Down.

21km
Run or Walk

Tracks: Waihononu Track from SH1 through to the Waihohonu Hut. Merge with Round The Mountain track. With just over 3km to go you hit the Lower Taranaki Falls Track.
Elevation: 544m Up / 392m Down.

6 or 12km
Run or Walk

Tracks: One or two laps of the stunning 6km loop using both the Upper & the Lower Taranaki Falls Tracks, before turning to finish in front of the Chateau Tongariro.
Elevation: 138m Up / 154m Down (per lap)

Friday Pre-Event Registration Times & Process 2021.

Date: Friday 29 January, 2021 
Location: 
Tongariro Room, The Chateau Tongariro, Whakapapa Village
Time:
4.00pm – 10.00pm
For Who:  All entrants.  Please note Friday registration is compulsory for all Tussock of Fire 50km entrants.
Process: #1 Present clean dry shoes to the Check Clean Dry team.
(They will supply you with a CCD sticker if your shoes pass)
#2 Show your compulsory gear to us! See the full compulsory gear list below.
(Our team will supply you with a compulsory gear wristband if your gear passes)
#3 At this point, you’ll then able to be issued with your event number/transponder
#4 Review the up to date weather conditions and ask any last minute questions you may have

Summary Timelines for each event on event day 2021.

 

Detailed Course Info for each event 2021.

For all events: Compulsory event gear for all distances WILL be checked at pre race registration and might be checked prior to the start and/or during the event on the course. Please ensure that you bring all compulsory equipment to the event registration on the Friday evening, and also to the event start line as there will be random gear checks before the event briefing.

There is no safe water supply on the mountain.
The only drink/aid station stop is on the 50km course at Tukino.
Entrants must take enough food/water with them to remain completely self sufficient for the length of time they may be on course.  R-Line electrolyte and Tongariro Water will be available at the Chateau Lawn (finish line) for you to refuel and recover.

Entrants not making the specific cut-offs (shown below) will be transported to the finish area as quickly as we are able to.

Tussock of Fire 50km Specific Course Info
Start @ 5.30am
– A Suitable SEAM SEALED weather barrier jacket, thermal long sleeve top, thermal long leg bottoms, thermal gloves, thermal beanie, fully charged mobile phone, emergency bag (not blanket), head lamp (minimum 300 lumens) with spare batteries, a whistle and fluid must be carried during the race. We recommend carrying a minimum of 3L for the first section which finishes at Tukino Aid Station and topping up so that you continue from there with 3L.
– Drop Bag Service to Tukino Access Road Aid Station.  During the Friday event registration, 50km athletes can provide our crew with specific gear/food/drink that they would like available to them at the Tukino Access Road Aid Station. This gear/food/drink is placed in accurately numbered bags matching the entrant race number and made available to 50km entrants @ the Tukino Access Road Aid Station.  There is no spectator access to this point, hence the drop bag service.  Following the course closure at Tukino Aid Station, all drop bags will be returned to the Tongariro Registration Room. We expect bags to be back approx. 3.30pm.
– While it’s strongly recommended  for entrants to be self sufficient on course,  (and to absolutely take advantage of the gear drop bag service at Tukino), the event will have some basic supplies available to entrants at the Tukino Aid Station.  At the Tukino Aid Station you’ll have the ability to fill up water supplies,  enjoy a cold cup of R-Line electrolyte or Coke, a hot cup of coffee/tea/tomato soup, and a quick snack on chips/lollies or a Peanut Butter/Jam Sammie.
–  You will be on course approximately 55 minutes prior to sunrise (approx 6.25am).
– 50km entrants who have not departed the Tukino Access Road Aid Station (approximately 27km from the startline) prior to 12.30pm will be required to exit the event course and take event transport from Tukino Access Road.  Minimum overall average pace 15.5 minutes per km.  The first section of the course from the start line to Tukino Access Road is considerably tougher than the second section home.
– Your pace on the second friendlier section of the course must increase to continue to make the next two course cut-off points.  50km entrants who have not departed the Waihohonu Hut area (approximately 35km from the startline) prior to 2.15pm will be required to exit the event course at the Hut and walk out to the Desert Road with our course crew. Minimum overall average pace 15 minutes per km.
– The finish line is closed for 50km entrants at 5.30pm (12 hours after the final waves departs).  Minimum overall average pace 14.4 minutes per km.
– Please note due to the different nature of this event, this is a much tighter cut-off than was permitted during the 50km events at both the 2018 and 2019 Ring of Fire 50km events.  The 50km Tussock event also has a slightly longer finish (using the Lower Taranaki Falls Track as opposed to the Upper Taranaki Falls Track). The top 80% of the Ring of Fire 50km starters would have made cut-offs and made it home under 12 hours but the bottom 20% of starters would have struggled to make some or all of the cut-offs mentioned above.  If you are concerned about the Tussock Traverse cut-off times, please remember we have the 32km option to consider for 2021 until you feel more prepared to tackle the 50km course.
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32km Specific Course Info.
Start 8.15am

– A wind/rainproof jacket, thermal top and thermal beanie, emergency bag (not blanker) and fluid must be carried during the race. We recommend carrying a minimum of 3L.
– 32km entrants not reaching the Waihohonu Hut (approximately 16.5km from the startline) prior to 12.30pm(4 hours 15 after race start) will be required to exit the event course at the Hut and walk out to the Desert Road with our course crew. Minimum overall average pace 15.6minutes per km.
– The finish line is closed for 32km entrants at 4.30pm (8 hours 15 minutes after the final waves departs). Minimum overall average pace 15.5 minutes per km
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21km Specific Course Info.
Starts. Wave A @9.45am & Wave B @ 10.30am. 

– A wind/rainproof jacket, thermal top, thermal beanie, emergency bag (not blanket) and fluid must be carried during the race. We recommend carrying a minimum of 2L.
– Wave A is only for runners who predict to go under 2 hours 45 minutes (under 8 mins per km). Wave B is for all registered walkers, plus the runners who predict to go over 2 hours 45 minutes.  If you think there’s a chance you’ll take over 2 hours 45 minutes in a challenging offroad environment you’ll need to start in Wave B.
– 21km entrants not reaching the Waihohonu Hut (approximately 5.5km from the startline) within 90 minutes of their wave start time (11.15am for Wave A and midday for Wave B) will be required to exit the event course at the Hut and walk out to the Desert Road with our course crew.
– The finish line is closed for 21km entrants at 3.45pm (Wave A) and 4.30pm (Wave B) which is (6 hours after each waves departs). Minimum overall average pace is approx. 17 minutes per km
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12km Specific Course Info
Start Run @ 9.10am & Walk @ 9.15am
– A wind/rainproof jacket, thermal top, thermal beanie, emergency bag (not blanket) and fluid must be carried during the race. We recommend carrying a minimum of 1.5L.
– 12km entrants not reaching the split point where the second lap starts (approximately 5.7km from the startline) by 10.45am will be required to turn right at the split point and finish the event at the completion of lap one. Minimum overall average pace is approx. 15.8 minutes per km.
– The finish line is closed for 12km entrants at 12.45pm.  Minimum overall average pace is approx. 17.5 minutes per km
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6km Specific Course Info
Start Run @ 1.00pm & Walk @ 1.05pm
– A wind/rainproof jacket, thermal top, thermal beanie, emergency bag (not blanket) and fluid must be carried during the race. We recommend carrying a minimum of 750ml.
– The finish line is closed for 6km entrants at 3.05pm. Minimum overall average pace is approx. 20 minutes per km.

Detailed Transport / Parking / Gear Service Info for each event 2021.

Tussock of Fire 50km Specific Transport/Parking/Gear Service Info
– Bus transport to the start of the event is optional and its user pays ($35.00). If you’d like to utilise this user pays service, you need to book through the online registration system.
– All bus transport departs from the one location inside Whakapapa Village (on the ramp right outside the Chateau Tongariro Main Reception doors). Traffic management and key event staff will be onsite assisting with your arrival and efficient loading onto the buses. Please arrive on time.
– You need to be visible to event staff at 3.45am to enable smooth boarding and departure by 4.00am (LATEST).
– There are no additional bus pick up points along the way to the start line, however supporters are free to park in and around the start line if they wish to drive to the start line and watch their athlete start. Bus transport will arrive in the start area approx 20-30 minutes prior to your race start.
– Any personal gear that you would like available at the Tukino Access Road Aid Station can be left in clearly marked drop bags with our registration crew Friday night.
– Any personal gear (that you don’t want to take on course with you) can be dropped into the Gear Bus near the start area.
– Any personal gear dropped to the Gear Bus will be available for collection from approx 11.30am inside the Tongariro Room (the pre race registration venue).
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32km Specific Transport/Parking/Gear Service Info

– All your bus transport needs are included in your event entry fee.
– All bus transport to the start of the event is compulsory.
– All bus transport departs from the one location at Carpark 10 (near the top of Bruce Road and the Whakapapa Skifield).  Carpark 10 is about a 7 minute drive up the Bruce Road from the Chateau Tongariro. Carpark 10 will be clearly marked. Traffic management and key event staff will be onsite assisting with your arrival and efficient loading onto the buses.  You can view the Carpark 10 map at pre race registration. Please arrive on time. You can’t get lost – continue to drive up Bruce Road until you reach Carpark 10.
– You need to be at Carpark 10 pre 6.40am to enable smooth boarding.
– Any personal gear (that you don’t want to take on course with you) can be dropped into the Gear Bus near the beginning of Tukino Access Road.
– Any personal gear dropped to the Gear Bus will be available for collection from approx 11.30am inside the Tongariro Room (the pre race registration venue).
– Post event, a free shuttle will make regular trips from the Chateau Tongariro finish area , 7 minutes up the Bruce road to Carpark 10 for you to collect your vehicle. Shuttle operational from 11.45am – 4.30pm (last trip up).
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21km Specific Transport/Parking/Gear Service Info

– All your bus transport needs are included in your event entry fee.
– All bus transport to the start of the event is compulsory.
– All bus transport departs from the one location at Carpark 10 (near the top of Bruce Road and the Whakapapa Skifield).  Carpark 10 is about a 7 minute drive up the Bruce Road from the Chateau Tongariro. Carpark 10 will be clearly marked. Traffic management and key event staff will be onsite assisting with your arrival and efficient loading onto the buses.  You can view the Carpark 10 map at pre race registration. Please arrive on time. You can’t get lost – continue to drive up Bruce Road until you reach Carpark 10.
Wave A need to be at Carpark 10 pre 8.10am to enable smooth boarding.
Wave B need to be at Carpark 10 pre 8.55am to enable smooth boarding.
– Any personal gear (that you don’t want to take on course with you) can be dropped into the Gear Bus parked on the shoulder of SH1/near the entrance of the Waihohonu Track.
– Any personal gear dropped to the Gear Bus will be available for collection from approx 11.30am inside the Tongariro Room (the pre race registration venue).
– Post event, a free shuttle will make regular trips from the Chateau Tongariro finish area , 7 minutes up the Bruce road to Carpark 10 for you to collect your vehicle. Shuttle operational from 11.45am – 4.30pm (last trip up).
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12km/6km Specific Transport/Parking/Gear Service Info
– There is no bus transport available, or needed for your event options.
– Parking Notes: Due to the large size of this event, and the popular nature of Whakapapa Village during the summer months we highly recommend carpooling to this event. As there are time limits on most parking in and around the Whakapapa Village which need to be respected for the benefit of all park users, the event has organised a limited amount of special event parking outside of these time restricted areas for event day only. As you drive up the Bruce Road towards the Chateau Tongariro on event day please drive slowly and follow all relevant special event parking signage, and directions from our event crew and traffic management specialists. The special event parking areas will be on both sides of Bruce Road beneath the Tussock Tavern until that section is full.
– Any personal gear (that you don’t want to take on course with you) can be dropped into the Tongariro Room (the pre race registration room ) on Saturday, prior to your event .
– Your gear will be available for collection anytime after your event, inside the Tongariro Room.

Prizegiving Information 2021.

If staying for prizegiving…drop your tear off spot prize tag from your race number and place into spot prize barrel from 5.00pm on the Chateau lawn.  Prizegiving will take place on The Chateau lawn (if fine) from 5.30pm – 6.30pm at or at the Tongariro Room inside The Chateau Tongariro, (if wet) on Saturday 30 January, 2021.

Accommodation

The Chateau Tongariro, in Whakapapa Village, is the preferred accommodation provider for the Tussock Traverse and official registration and awards ceremony/dinner venue. Offering elegant, old-world charm the Chateau also provides convenience with all events finishing on the lawn outside the hotel. More details here. 

Our Event Rules

  • In the event of extreme weather conditions or factors outside of our control, some or all of the events could have delayed start times or be cancelled, and some of the events could be moved to our contingency course (depending on what the weather situation calls for).  It will be at the discretion of the event organisers and the mountain safety team as to whether the event goes ahead as intended or not.
  • The Event Manager will advise at the race briefing if all compulsory equipment will be required depending on the weather conditions on the day. Any entrants clothing etc taken to the start of the race that is not required can be left in a clearly marked bag and checked in with a designated event marshal at the gear bus. Those bags will then be taken back to the Chateau event base and can be collected by the entrant at the finish.
  • All entrants must stay on the course and pass all marshals. Tail-end marshals will follow the last entrant and work with Peak Safety to ensure everyone is off the mountain safely.
  • If you are entered as a ‘walker’ you will be disqualified from the race if you are seen jogging or running by an event official, course marshal or Victory Events staff member.  If you’re intending to run even one step in either of the three races please register as a ‘runner’.
  • The tracks are open to the public so please respect their space.
  • Qualified mountain safety medical support will be available both on the course and at the event base, but please acknowledge this is an off-road event and access could be difficult.
  • You are entering an alpine mountain environment with extreme weather changes possible. All entrants must carry the compulsory equipment which will be checked before the race.
  • This event is held within the Tongariro National Park, a World Heritage Area, it is a special place and we are privileged to be able to hold this event in it. Please keep to the track at all times and take all rubbish with you. This event is run by Victory Events, in conjunction with Project Tongariro, to promote this magic place and we ask you to participate in this spirit.
  • Entrants must help other entrants in trouble. Having everyone finish safely is the number one event priority. Please see course cut-off details above.
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