Event Entry Information


2018 entries will be open Sunday 15 October 2017 at 8.00pm


The following information should provide all you need to know about the Ruapehu Express.  Please read and if you want more information please contact Nick or Katrina as follows.

General enquiries: Nick Reader | 021 632721
| info@ruapehuexpress.co.nz | www.ruapehuexpress.co.nz

Event entry, bus/bike transport and merchandise enquiries to Katrina Gray
| admin@ruapehuexpress.co.nz | 021 037 1016

Make sure you “Like” our Facebook page to keep up with the latest news and event info.


Event Option  Age  Standard Entry
(up to 12 Feb 18)
 Late Entry
(13-20 Feb 18)
 Entry at Event
 MTB 58km  Adult  $120 $135  $150
   Youth  $70 $80 $90
   E bike  $120 $135 $150
 MTB 25km  Adult  $70  $80  $90
    Youth  $40 $50 $60
 Run/Walk 21km  Adult  $70  $80  $90
    Youth  $40  $50  $60
 Run/Walk 16km Adult $55 $65 $75
Youth $35 $45 $55

Note that youth fees apply to people under 17 years on the day of the event.
We do accept entries on the day at the fees stated above.  Please note the event has a limited number of entries available and the Mountain Bike is likely to sell out, so there may be not entries available on the day for the Mountain Bike event.  We will put a note here and on the home page if we are not taking on the day entries.  Pre enter to avoid disappointment.


Age Category on the day of the event (years) for bike, run and walk

Youth Under 17  0-16
Junior 17-18
Open 19-29
Master 1 30-39
Master 2 40-49
Master 3 50-59
Master 4 60-69
Legends 70 plus


Trail Run/Walk 16km or 21km bus fee is $10.

Mountain Bike 25km bus and bike fee is $20.

Mountain Bike 59km bus and bike fee is $40.

Please note that these fees are priced to recover the actual cost of buses and trucks used to transport people and bikes.  Transport can be booked when entering on line or after entering.


We have some pretty slick event gear that you can order on line to look the part at the event or for bragging rights after…  

Tees are a fitting style, are available in both mens and womens styles and cost $39.  (Note only mens styles are pictured).

Finish off the casual, but cool look with a top quality unisex hoody costing $59.

Note that all merchandise will only be available to pick up at the event and will not be posted out.



The grade of the Mountain Bike leg is grade 1-2 with small sections of grade 3. Refer to the MTB trail grading system on the event website COURSE INFO page.

The Mountain bike event is definitely classed as Cross Country, not Enduro.  So the best bikes would probably be XC or All mountain.  100mm-140mm suspension front and rear would be the most suitable.  Speedsters might choose hard tails.

Runners/Walkers.  The Old Coach Road is a stunning piece of NZ trail, but can be a little slippery and has some sections with an uneven surface so trail running shoes are probably the best choice.

Refer COURSE INFO page for full course detail.


The event HQ, registration, bike drop for transport and finish line are all located at the Village Green, 11 Thames St, Ohakune 4625 opposite the Powderhorn Chateau.  Please park on Thames Street where there is plenty of angle parking just outside.


Note the schedule may change slightly as we get closer to the event.

FRIDAY 23   Feb 2018


Who for

4:00pm – 10:00pm

Registration for all on the Village Green, Thames St, opposite the Powderhorn Chateau, includes picking up race number and transponder.

All Mountain Bikers must have your bike checked by the Check, Clean, Dry team on the grass area adjacent to the Powderhorn BEFORE REGISTRATION.

58KM Mountain bikers who have booked transport need to get your bike loaded onto trucks.

25km Mountain Bikers, please do not drop off your bike on Friday, but bring your bike on Saturday morning to be loaded onto a bike trailer.

Note meals, drinks and good times available at the warm and friendly Powderkeg!

All entrants

SATURDAY   24 Feb 2018




MTB58km final chance to register including check, clean, dry for bike, load your bike onto transport.

All people doing the 58km MTB option who have booked bike transport must register by 6:30am and then get their bike loaded to a trailer by 6:50am.



MTB58km registration ENDS



All buses depart Powderhorn Chateau to transport participants and bikes to the MTB 58km start at Tukino



Final registration and entry on the day for MTB   25km and Run/Walk 21km and Run/Walk 16km


Run/walk 21/16km


MTB 58km   starts from Tukino Ski Field Road



MTB 25km and Run/Walk 21km and Run Walk 16km registration   ENDS


Run/walk 21/16km


Bus and trailers departs Powderhorn Chateau to   transport participants to the MTB 25km and Run/Walk 21km and Run/Walk 16km


Run/walk 21/16km


Run/Walk   21km Half Marathon starts from Horopito

Run/Walk   21km


Run/Walk 16km starts from Horopito

Run/Walk 16km


MTB 25km start from Karioi Pulp Mill

MTB 25km


Prizegiving - Be in the win the Merida bike and heaps more prizes!



You will be issued with a race number at registration which has your timing chip located on the rear.  Runners and walkers are to use safety pins to attach this to your chest, try to avoid a piercing!  Mountain Bikers will be issued cable ties to attach the number plate to the handlebars of your bike.


There is one start line for the two trail run/walks and two start lines for the two Mountain Bike options.  All event options finish at the Powderhorn Chateau, Ohakune.   You may travel to your start line using your own vehicle or by pre purchasing event bus/bike transport. Travel time from Ohakune to the MTB 58km start at the Tukino Ski Field Road is around 45 minutes.  Travel time from Ohakune to the MTB 25km start and both Run/Walk course start lines is around 20 minutes.

We strongly recommend using the event transport to make your day easy and to avoid vehicle congestion at the start lines.

Please see the schedule for times of bus departures.

Mountain Bike Transport system.

We use 5-7 large curtain side truck and trailers to transport bikes.  We understand how valuable a mountain bike is and will take great care of them by placing corrugated cardboard between the bikes as well as spacers between groups of bikes to avoid rubbing.  If you want to, you may pre wrap your bike in bubble wrap (or similar), but this is NOT compulsory.

We recommend that all 58km MTB entrants register the night before the event if possible.  Allow plenty of time.  Don’t be late.  The buses will depart on the times stated in the schedule!


Please refer to the map on www.ruapehuexpress.co.nz for the location of the start lines and finish lines for the MTB and the Run/Walk. Look for large RUAPEHU EXPRESS signs and bright orange arrows.


There will be portaloo toilets at each start line and at the finish line.


For 2018 we have Elemento Expresso selling coffee at the MTB 58km start line.  Bring $5 cash for your early morning caffeine hit!


You may like to withdraw from the race either prior to or during the event.  It is critical that you tell us you have withdrawn.  If we cannot account for you at the end of the event once the tail end staff have completely swept the course, we will ring your mobile, then ring your emergency contact and if that fails, then we will initiate a Search and Rescue using Police and Search and Rescue staff.  So please let us know if you withdraw.


Remember that you are walking, running or riding on the side of Mount Ruapehu.  It is a beautiful environment, but even in the height of summer, the weather can be very, very cold, so make sure you bring the appropriate equipment including base layer thermal long sleeved top and rain jackets.

Mountain Bikers must wear hard shell helmet (standard XC helmet), closed footwear and a shirt. Gloves are recommended.

If advised by the event officials on the Friday night pre event, a thermal top (polypro/merino etc) and a rain jacket are compulsory to be carried by all participants (Mountain bikers, Runners and Walkers).


Mountain Bike course: There will be two aid stations on the course with event staff, first aid kits, Tail Wind electrolyte drink, drinking water and lollies available.  Locations 31km mark and 46km mark.
Run/Walk course:  There will be two aid stations on the course with event staff, first aid kits, Tail Wind electrolyte drink, drinking water and lollies available.  Locations 6km and 14km mark approx.


Top quality medical staff shall provide assistance on the course.  Please ensure you carry any personal medication you require with you.  Please also ensure that the emergency contact person you have listed on your entry form is available on their phone on the day of the event.


The finish line is at the Junction, Ohakune Township. Each participant shall receive a complimentary sausage sizzle and cold drink at the finish line.  Snacks, meals, coffee and cold drinks will be available to purchase from the Powderkeg at the finish line.


There are over $5,000 of prizes to be won with at least 2/3rds going out as random spot prizes at prizegiving. 

One super lucky entrant will win a fantastic Merida 120 600 Mountain Bike so make sure you enter before late entries kick in and be at prizegiving with your fingers and toes crossed!

The overall male and female winner of the MTB58km, MTB 25km, 21km run and 16km run will each receive a trophy.  A special large trophy has been made to record the winners over the years.


All entrants will be eligible for a certificate after the results are published live on www.ruapehuexpress.co.nz.  Follow the instructions on the website to print your own certificate. 


Please refer to the course map section of the website for a course and profile map. 


The course will be well marked.  Directional orange triangles will direct you on the courses. 2 crossed triangles indicate the wrong way, down triangles indicate to slow down for potential danger, green triangles indicate an easier course option. Keep out tape means keep out of the area.


Mountain Bikers, please ride with consideration to others especially when passing.  It is up to the rider doing the passing to pass safely and to politely communicate when passing by calling something like ‘Passing on your right’.  At the 2017 event, there was some dangerous passing behaviour from some people that caused injury to others.  This is NOT an Olympic XC race - please pass safely or risk disqualification!


There are no cut off times.  However if you are still on the course and will not make it to the finish one hour before nightfall, then we will withdraw you and give you a ride to the finish.


Refunds up to and including 31 December shall incur a $20 administration fee. Refunds between 1 January and 31 January you will receive a 50% Refund. No refunds will be given after 31 January. Entries are non-transferable.


Supporters have some opportunities to cheer on their competitor, but must not go onto the event course if it is located on private land. 

The NZ Army land and Karioi forest are closed to supporters!

MTB58km supporters can view their competitor at the Karioi Pulp Mill, SH 49 (same place as the MTB 25km start) and from Mangateitei Road home to the finish at Ohakune.  Supporters are encouraged NOT to enter Rangataua Forest as it is a very narrow road and will cause congestion.  Run/Walk 21km/16km supporters can view their competitor at the start of each event and when the runners/walkers come out onto Marshals Road towards the end of the course. 

If you are a supporter, please drive really carefully and park safely.


Take extreme care around trains and railway crossings when in vehicles or on foot, especially those taking part in the run/walk events as there is a railway line you need to cross as part of the event.

Trains operate at any time and may not keep to schedule. You are required by law to stop at all level crossings if a train is approaching and it can take up to one kilometre for a train to stop. If alarm bells are sounding or the official requests that you stop, you must stop.

The Ruapehu Express event officials will record any competitor not stopping at railway level crossings if a train is approaching and pass this on to the police. Offenders will not only be disqualified from the event, but they may be prosecuted and fined.


You are entering a very special part of the planet, so special in fact that it has been awarded dual world heritage status for its natural and cultural features.  It is really important that you respect and preserve the environment you are in.


Ruapehu Express Protect our Playground. 

New Zealand’s lakes, rivers and streams are under threat from freshwater pests.  Pests like didymo can be sneaky little critters.  A wet bike or shoe to be it’s way into another river or stream.  These pests can clog out waterways, smothering fish, insect and plant life out of them and making them damned ugly and difficult for us to enjoy.   Pests can be microscopic at an early stage so you can’t be sure that a waterway hasn’t got a pest in it.   Almost all the freshwater pests there are in New Zealand are spread by people so what we do counts. 

There will be a Check Clean Dry cleaning station at registration.  If you follow the instructions as outlined below before you get to the event you shouldn’t need to have your bike or gear cleaned at registration.  Get into the habit of doing Check Clean Dry whenever you more between waterways.

Here’s How to Check Clean Dry

If your bike or shoes got wet in another lake, river or stream prior to the event you need to either:

Check and Dry

Check and remove any obvious plant material.  Dry to the touch your bike and gear.   Your bike and gear has to have been dry for a minimum of 48 hours before the event where you will be going through Whangaehu River tributaries.  For mountain bikes it can take a long time for water in the rims to dry.  We recommend two weeks dry prior to another waterway as it may take at least ten days for rims to dry completely.

Or Check and Clean

If you’re at all uncertain that your bike or gear has been dry as above then you need to: Check and remove all obvious plant material. Clean, soak or scrub all equipment for at least one minute.  Make sure it’s fully wet, especially around the rims.  Use a solution of water and at least 5% detergent (any household detergent like dishwashing liquid) or 2% household bleach for cleaning.  If you rinse the gear afterwards use town supply water.

Thanks for doing your bit to protect our amazing waterways.’ 


  1. I have read and understand the information regarding this event and understand that I participate in this event at my own risk.
  2. I acknowledge and accept that mountain biking and trail running carries an inherent risk of injury, illness and in extreme cases, death.
  3. I will be drug and alcohol free for this event.
  4. I acknowledge that although the event has medical personnel and resources at various points along the course, the inaccessibility of much of the trail will make it difficult or impossible for medical assistance to reach me immediately and extractions may take a period of time.
  5. I agree to allow event medical staff to treat me as they see fit.
  6. I hereby attest and verify that I am physically fit and have sufficiently trained for this event.
  7.  I understand that competing in this event may involve riding, running and walking on wilderness trails with rocks, roots, stream crossings, and up and down steep terrain. The hazards may include but are not limited to; challenging terrain, rocks, roots, adjacent streams, rivers, motor vehicle traffic, slippery surfaces, loose rocks, soft sand, weather conditions, heat exhaustion, hypothermia, actions of spectators, other competitors, general public and the event organisers personnel.
  8. If you break down or get injured, use your mobile phone to call event staff for assistance, or walk or ride on to the next Marshal if you can, or stay on the marked course and wait for event staff who will provide assistance.
  9. I agree to comply with the rules and directions of event officials and their personnel.
  10. I will stay on the marked course at all times, unless instructed by event staff.
  11. Do not go out on the course before the race starts or after the race ends.
  12. I will obey all course marking. Directional orange arrows will direct you on the courses. 2 crossed arrows or tape across the track indicate the wrong way, down arrow/s indicate to slow down for potential danger, green arrows indicate an easier course option. Keep out tape means keep out of the area.
  13. Stay left at all times. The course is NOT closed to other vehicles.
  14. Support crews are not allowed onto the event course, except where designated by Event Management
  15. Wear the correct safety gear when taking part. Mountain Bikers must wear hard shell helmet, closed footwear and shirt. Gloves are recommended. If advised by the event officials, a thermal top and a quality rain jacket are compulsory for all participants.
  16. All bikes and running shoes must be checked, cleaned and dried before taking part in this event.
  17. My support crew and I will obey the instructions given by event staff
  18. I accept that I may be pulled from the course at any time with the discretion of event staff primarily for, but not limited to, safety reasons.
  19. I will complete the entire course under my own power.
  20. I will not light any fires.
  21. I will be respectful of other trail users such as recreational walkers and mountain bikers.
  22. I will not litter.
  23. Smoking is not permitted at any of the checkpoints or along the trail by participants, staff, spectators or supporters.
  24. Dogs are not allowed on the course
  25. If I wish to withdraw from the event, I will either inform the nearest event staff, or text the Race Communications Manager (see rear of race number for phone numbers).
  26. Participants who leave the course/event without informing staff of their race number will be classified as "missing". The participant will be contacted on their mobile phone and their emergency contact will be called. If there is no response from either party or the emergency contact does not know the status of the participant, a search will be activated.  Any search related costs will be charged to the participant.
  27. If I need assistance, I will ask a staff member or call the Race Communications Manager (see rear of race number for phone numbers). If none of these options work and I have cell phone coverage and it is a true emergency, I will call NZ emergency services by dialling 111.
  28. Anti-Doping Policy and Statement: Race management reserves the right to drug test any participant competing in this event – from the time of registration to after the completion of the event.  Agreement to submit to drug testing is a condition of entry.
  29. I understand that the event transfer and refund policies are, as stated on the website at the time I entered, and are not negotiable.
  30. I hereby allow the use of my name and image to be used in the media and for marketing purposes.
  31. I hereby allowing aerial filming of myself, including use of drones, as part of this event.
  32. I hereby agree that in the case of event cancellation due to extreme inclement weather (at the discretion of event officials), my entry fee shall be non-refundable.
  33. I hereby acknowledge this waiver, release and indemnity discharge all persons, corporations, associations and bodies involved or otherwise engaged in promoting or staging the event and their servants, agents, representatives, officers and employees. This includes but is not limited to the various committees, members, and employees of all independent contracted suppliers to the event, local councils, cities and districts and their respective officers, directors, employees, independent contractors, representatives, agents, volunteers, event organisers and sponsors whether or not the loss, injury or damage is attributed to the act or neglect of any or more of them.
  34. I also understand that my contact details will be added to the events database, and that I will receive emails directly from the Ruapehu Express.  I understand that I can unsubscribe from this database at any time. The event will not, under any circumstances, distribute at any time, the contact details of those on the event database.



If the weather is rough on the race day the organisers reserve the right to modify and utilise an alternative course.  Every effort will be made to provide the same distance courses as advertised, but there is no guarantee of this.

If for any reason the event cannot be held Saturday 24 Feb, then the event will be held the next Sunday 25 Feb at the same times. 

The Ohakune Events Charitable Trust (OECT) will make every possible effort to ensure this event takes place. However certain circumstances may arise which means the event will have to be cancelled. These circumstances include, without limitation; fires, flood, storms, explosion, acts of God, war, governmental actions or non-performance by third parties. In the rare case that the event is cancelled, due to circumstances beyond the reasonable control of the OECT, OECT will not be held responsible for offering any refunds to participants.


General enquiries: Nick Reader | 021 632721 | info@ruapehuexpress.co.nz | www.ruapehuexpress.co.nz 

Event entry and bus/bike transport enquiries to Katrina Gray  | 021 037 1016  | admin@ruapehuexpress.co.nz