Great Barrier Island Wharf to Wharf Marathon

The Great Barrier Island Wharf to Wharf Marathon is held annually, in October, on one of New Zealand’s most pristine and picturesque islands.  Participants can run, walk or mountain bike either a full or half marathon. 

The event is a fundraiser for Kaitoke School, one of three small primary schools on the island and is sponsored by Sea link.  A hundred or so volunteers make this a special community event.

It is the adventure aspect of the Wharf to Wharf that sets it aside from other events and makes it a real challenge. People know they have accomplished something special when they finish the Great Barrier Island Wharf to Wharf Marathon.  Now a well publicized and popular event it attracts people from all around New Zealand and from all over the world.

BCR1 (1)

The event is also unique, consisting of both track and road. The first half of the course begins at Port Fitz Roy Wharf at the northern end of the island. Department of Conservation tracks climb and meander through beautiful native bush, home to some of NZ’s endangered and special native species such as kaka, kereru and chevron skink.  Reaching an elevation of 180 metres there are spectacular views over the Hauraki Gulf and Pacific Ocean.

The track half marathon finishes at Blind Bay Road, Okupu after winding around the bottom of Te Ahumata (White Cliffs), once a site of silver mining on the island.  From here the second half of the course is on the road with views of white sandy beaches, green farmland and small settlements.  There are a couple of reasonable climbs along the way and a bigger climb just before the finish of the full marathon and the road half marathon at Tryphena Wharf.

BCR2This event is dedicated to the memory of local hero Barry Mouat who was a staunch supporter of Kaitoke School which his children attended.  He loved to introduce people to the island with all its beauty and quirks. In 2007 Barry walked the Wharf to Wharf supported by family and friends, despite having been diagnosed with the cancer that was to take his life just over a year later.

Testimonials from past participants;

FANTASTIC event, well-organized and lots of fun!  Loved the community spirit as well. Definitely coming back next year!

Met some fantastic people, beautiful island and we had plenty of time to have a look around and do some of the walks after the event.

Totally cool event, perfect balance of organized and Barrier, huge effort from all the organisers and volunteers, thank you.

I loved travelling on the ferry with other competitors … kept bumping into them and chatting … it was very friendly.

It was a fantastic day- well-organized, and the marshals and all volunteers were amazing – always cheery and supportive.

People at the aid stations were great and I loved being greeted by name at the first checkpoint by the policeman. Kids signs were great too.

It was a lovely weekend. I did enjoy the non-commercial aspect of the event. Everyone was very friendly and relaxed. Nice place to visit.

More info at the Wharf to Wharf website.

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