Race Info

Competitor Information

Race start times
Half and Full Marathon: 8.30 am
Teams Relay: 8.35 am
Buller Heritage 10km Fun Run: 9.30 am


  • Half and full marathon participants travel by bus to the start. Buses will leave Victoria Square from 6.45am. Please line up as on the map by 6.30am for boarding. Your race number will be recorded and must be visible and presented for you to board the bus.
  • Relay teams travel in their own vehicles to the start with their vehicle pass clearly displayed on the right front windscreen. Only one support vehicle per relay team.
  • Buller Heritage 10 participants make their own way to the start at the Buller Bridge picnic area on the Esplanade. Please either park down the Esplanade roadside or take an easy walk from the town centre.

Drink Stations

  • There are drink stations at the following kilometre distances: 4, 8, 12, 16, 20.5, 25, 29, 33, 36, and 40Km. Personal drinks can be delivered to key water stations to your requirements. Please leave these labelled with your race number on race day in the boxes provided on the table in front of the grandstand at Victoria Square before 6:45am.

Changing & Toilet Facilities

  • The changing rooms at Victoria Square will be open at 6.30 am. There will be portable toilets at all start lines, at the half way mark in the half marathon, at the Crossroads 7ks from the finish and at the whare (approx. 4km into the 10km run). During the event, if you have to go into the native bush, please be aware of the steep banks and cliffs.

Vehicles and Road Safety

  • Cars taking participants to the start must leave the road-closed area before 8.00am except those for the team relay participants. Relay vehicles are to drop off runners and then proceed to the next changeover point without stopping.
  • The Buller Gorge is narrow and there are a large number of bends. The course is closed to all traffic except official, support and emergency vehicles along State Highway 6 from 8.00am until 10.00am from Inangahua Junction to Four Mile Junction. State Highway 67: Brougham Street from Palmerston Street to Queen Street is also closed from 9.30am to 1.30pm.
  • All road traffic laws and directions from the Police and traffic safety officials must be obeyed at all times and consideration must be given to other road users who may not be interested in the progress of the marathon. Your full co-operation s requested to ensure safety of all road users.

Gear Bag Transport and Collection – All Events

  • Your race pack includes a numbered gear bag, which can be used for additional clothing or equipment up until just before the race start. These will be returned via provided gear bag vehicles to the secure gear tent at Victoria Square right opposite the main marquee. All gear bags must be in their gear bag vehicles at least 10 minutes prior to race start. We are not responsible for any valuable items (e.g.cameras) that are left in gear bags. Please remember to collect your gear bag after the race or its contents will be donated to the community. 


  • The Buller Gorge sandfly is a notorious wee beasty who preys on everybody. Please ensure that you ‘spray’ with adequate protection and keep yourself covered and warm. 

Buller Gorge Course – Half, Full and Relay

  • The full marathon and full relay events start at the eastern end of Hawks Crag and heads up the gorge for approximately 8km to a turning point 380 metres past Berlins. The course then proceeds down the gorge, where the first changeover for the relay will be on the east side of Stitts Bluff. The second relay changeover is at Ohikaiti (the half marathon start) and the third is approximately 50 metres east of the Scout Lodge along the Scout Lodge straight.
  • The course includes three testing hills at Tiroroa, Ohikaiti, and Omanu and then it heads into Westport to the finish through the chute at Victoria Square.
  • The half marathon is run over the second half of the marathon course and commences 100 metres east of the Ohikaiti River Bridge with the finish through the chute in Victoria Square.
  • There are no laps of the track to complete, so for those runners who are still capable of mustering a sprint finish at the end of the marathon, the distance from the post office corner to the finish is 248 metres. The portion of Brougham Street to Queen Street will be closed to traffic except official and emergency. Participants enter Victoria Square via the main gates at the intersection of Brougham and Russell Streets.
  • The course has been certified by a registered surveyor and should always be run on the right hand side of the road facing oncoming traffic – including the Buller Bridge.
  • The assembly points for the half marathon are just east of the Ohikaiti River Bridge and for the full marathon and relay is at the off-road parking area 200 metres east of Hawks Crag. Please listen and respond to the marshals when asked to move to the starting area as the full marathon participants only line up first followed by relay participants 5 minutes later. 

Course – Buller Heritage 10 Fun Run – Kawatiri Coastal Trail

  • The Buller Heritage 10 starts in the carpark at the Buller Bridge picnic area accessed off the Esplanade. The trail follows the footpath and crosses the Buller River on the pedestrian bridge before heading right through farmland on the Kawatiri Coastal Trail. The course consists of 2.2 metre wide flat gravel paths, timber boardwalks and timber bridges. Please be aware of the track edges as there are some drop offs in certain areas which could result in ankle injuries, slips, trips or falls.
  • The course heads out to the estuary near Carters Beach and then turns around at the whare and returns on the same trail back to the Buller Bridge picnic area. Runners then travel along the Esplanade trail to the Toki Poutangata Bridge, over Adderley Street and join the main course on Palmerston Street to finish through the chute at Victoria Square.
  • The trail will only be closed for 30 minutes from the start so other two-way traffic including cyclists may be encountered for the latter part of the run. Some may also walk the course. The 2 timber bridges also have maximum number of people limits. Please follow the instructions of the marshals who will manage access onto and across them.
  • The assembly point for the Buller Heritage 10 is in the carpark at the Buller Bridge picnic area just off the Esplanade. Please park your vehicle down the Esplanade roadside leaving the carpark free for official vehicles. Listen carefully to the starting marshals when you are asked to line up at the starting area. 

Race Rules

  • The race is to be run on the right-hand side of the road facing oncoming traffic. (including the Buller Bridge) Entrants crossing the centre white line risk instant disqualification and all must obey the traffic rules treating the road as being open at all times.
  • Your entry is not transferable to other people.
  • You must wear your race number as issued pinned on front, and visible at all times during the race as it includes our timing chips. While the race is on, you cannot cover or obscure your race number. You must not reduce its size or modify it in any way.
  • Entrants being overtaken must give right of way to faster entrants during the event. No more than two abreast once the event is underway.
  • Entrants must not be accompanied by cyclists, vehicles, or people not entered in the event.
  • Only entrants wearing official race numbers will be permitted to enter the finish area at Victoria Square. This rule will be strictly enforced.
  • Entrants who have completed the course will be disqualified if they attempt to cross the finish line a second time. If you have returned to accompany a friend or relative, then you should not re-enter the main gates of the square.
  • The Race Referee, Race Director and the Chief Medical Officer will have the right to withdraw any competitor they consider to be under severe physical stress.
  • Official time-keeping will cease at 2.15pm. The prize draw will be limited to those finishing within the official time period from race start to 2.15pm.
  • As you enter Westport down Palmerston Street, please remain on the right hand side of the road adjacent to the kerb. Please do not run on the footpath.
  • Please remove all your gear from the bus and place in supplied numbered gear bags in the gear bag vehicle near the start line. It will depart 10 minutes before the start and your gear will then be available in the gear tent on the square upon race completion.
  • Please assemble behind the line at the start of the Half Marathon as we want to keep the area in front of the start line clear.
  • Vehicles are not allowed to be driven alongside runners. This rule will be strictly enforced for the safety of all road users.
  • A speed restriction of 30 kilometres/hour will apply in the gorge road closure for all official and relay teams support vehicles. This rule must be obeyed for the safety of all pedestrians. 

Health and Safety

  • The Buller Gorge Marathon Trust have prepared a comprehensive Health and Safety Policy, including procedures and a Safety Management Plan to ensure that race participants, committee members, contractors and volunteers are kept safe. This is available in full pdf form here.

Health and Safety Policy statement

The Buller Gorge Marathon Trust will:

  • Never compromise on health and safety of all participants, visitors, volunteers and the public
  • Consider health and safety in all parts of the preparations for the event
  • Take all reasonable steps to ensure that the equipment and practices maintain acceptable and appropriate health and safety standards
  • Communicate information on preventative measures that can be taken to reduce risk
  • Encourage participants and volunteers to identify and eliminate or reduce any hazards
  • Provide participants and volunteers with the opportunity to participate in the decision-making process on health and safety matters
  • Continually monitor the effectiveness of practices and the management of a safe environment
  • Comply with relevant NZ legislation and provide safe working conditions