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The 50km Mountain Ultra is a true adventure in the backcountry. The Ultramarathon has two mountains to climb as well as some great runnable single tracks. The Oxford Conservation Area is a true mountain environment, making this ultra a great challenge for those who are up for whatever the mountains bring. This course has been designed to give competitors a challenge, but also with the aim of everyone finishing within the 12 hours available.
If you have been a previous Mountain Marathon competitor, this ultra course will be easier and should take you less time to complete.
Date: Saturday 6th April 2024
Start Time: 6:00am
Start/Finish Line: Coopers Creek, Mountain Road
Race Briefing: 5:30am
Minimum Age: 18yr
Elevation Gain: 2250m (approx)
Cut Off Times:
Result Categories:1st, 2nd, 3rd Women, Men Overall
King and Queen of the Mountain: 1st Female to the summit of Mt Oxford, 1st Male to the summit of Mt Oxford (must finish the race to qualify for these titles).
Additional Info: Due to the risk to competitors and marshals there is a cut off in place at the 13km mark (Wharfedale Hut) at 11:00am, and also at the 43km mark (Ryde Falls/Wharfedale Track junction) at 3:30pm. 6:00pm is when the race is officially over - any competitor who does not get to the finish by 6:00pm will be marked as a DNF.
The course starts and finishes at Coopers Creek, Oxford.
The 50km course starts with the ascent of Mt Oxford as dawn breaks. As you climb the mountain you might even be able to see the twinkling lights of Christchurch city! Once you reach the summit you will then head across the top of the mountain enjoying 360 degree views of the Southern Alps, right across to the South Pacific Ocean. You will then turn right and head down the mountain to the Wharfedale Hut. There you will find your first Aid Station where you get to recharge before heading out towards the Lees Valley. You will get some great running along here after the tough ascent and descent on Mt Oxford. Once you reach the turnaround point you will then head back to the second mountain, Black Hill. As you climb Black Hill you get a great view of the back of Mt Oxford and enjoy some rather un-touched trails as you head further from civilisation. You will then visit the Black Hill Hut for a smaller Aid Station, then head up to the summit for a quick look. You then descend back down Black Hill to the Wharfedale Track. This track is well-known in the district as being amazing - some great running will be had along this section of the course as you head up and over the saddle before you reach our next Aid Station at around 43km.
There is some great single track running on technical trails as well as plenty of walking up the mountains. This mountain ultra is challenging but achievable. The Oxford Conservation Area is a true mountain environment, meaning you might experience some snow along parts of the course. We won't alter the route unless the conditions are dangerous, so prepare for this in your training. The section down Mt Oxford toward the Wharfedale Hut is reasonably gnarly and there is some scrambling involved.
We have full LandSAR support throughout the 50km and full radio contact to keep you safe.
You are going to need all of your compulsory gear. (Please see Athlete Info for the Compulsory Gear.)
The Cut Offs for the Mountain Ultra are at 11:00am (13km) and 3:30pm (43km).
If you do not make the cut offs you will be transported back to the Race Village by vehicle. Don't worry - there'll be lots of laughs and you get to hang out with the fun crew we have in the back country. We take you in a warm vehicle through some pretty incredible scenery.
Not the worst way to spend the rest of the afternoon!
For your safety, and the safety of our marshals, we have a final cut off at 6:00pm on the mountain. This means that the race is officially over and any competitors out on course will have a DNF. Extraction plans will be put into action, unless competitors are on the last section of the course, in which case they will need to walk out with our Tail End Charlies.
There is 1 Bag Drop location in the Ultramarathon. This location has been chosen due to having access for our crew to be able to get your gear onto the course.
THE FOLLOWING INFORMATION IS VERY IMPORTANT:
If you wish to have a bag dropped at the 18km mark there are two options for you to hand this into us:
These times have been set to ensure your bag will be where you are expecting it to be on the day! There are no alternate options to get your bag to the set location unless you hand it to us at the allocated times.
Due to the small out-and-back section on the course you do pass your bag twice (but only a few km's apart).
There are two opportunities to register and get your gear checked for the Ultramarathon.
The Friday night time at the Race Village is only available for Ultramarathon competitors.
THERE ARE NO GEAR CHECKS ON THE MORNING OF THE RACE.
The 50K Mountain Ultra is officially a UTMB Index Race for 2023. The UTMB World Series is a way Elite and everyday runners can access the events in the UTMB series across the globe. To be able to compete in the World Series Events, Majors, and Finals runners need to have a valid UTMB Index. The Index is a way to calculate a runners performance level. Runners who complete the 50K at the Mt Oxford Odyssey will be included in the UTMB Index and have priority access to UTMB races across the world.