toughest marathon in new zealand - biggest elevation gain over 42km

race starts and briefings

race rego 

The Salewa 42km Mountain Marathon is a true adventure and one that will push you to your limits both physically and mentally. The marathon has 3500 metres vertical gain over the course distance. What does that mean you ask? Well, that is close to Mt Cook's height broken up into three different ascents and descents. There may well be some snow and ice on the course adding to the adventure. If that excites you then that means you are the kind of person that this marathon will suit. And that means we want to see you on the start line in 2021.    

gear checks

marathon feedback

Getting Vert:
Take a rough back country marathon trail,
Grab Mt Cook, chop it into 3 bits and plonk it on the course,
Add a couple of rivers between the bumps,
Drop a bunch of trees on the track,
Cover 1/3 of the course in snow & ice,
a few marker poles so you know where to go.
And call it an odyssey - The Mt Oxford Odyssey.
This was my 5th trail race, and it would be fair to say I've never done anything like it before.  After having run over Mt Oxford the first time, if you were dumb enough to think about what lay ahead, any sane competitor would suddenly curl into a gibbering ball in the ground and refuse to move until extracted.  The only way I survived the race was "In the now" because it was always OK where I was.  It was just what lay ahead that was terrifying.

Kevin Holland
​(we'd like you to know he also said he had a great day - and he's done the marathon twice!)

You can book online for a post race massage with the crew from Head2Toe Massage Therapy. 

$20 for 15 minutes.

course description

post race massage

All Gear Checks are on the morning of the race between 5:00am - 5:30am.

Race report  by Jarrod Cook

the epic marathon 

Thursday April 15th 3pm - 7pm.
Further Faster. 57a Buchan St, Sydenham, Christchurch.   

​If you are staying in Oxford for race weekend you will be able to collect your race pack on the morning of the race between 5:00am and 5:30am at the start/finish area.

race entry


​$180 includes finishers medal, custom Salewa buff, buffet aid station, post race nourishment, and Prize Giving BBQ for all marathon supporters and family.

NEW TO 2021 TEAMS EVENT (Separate Prize Pool for Teams Event)

Female, Male, or Mixed Teams of 2. Competitors must stay together throughout the duration of the race. 
$320 (team of 2) includes finishers medals, custom Salewa buff, buffet aid station, post race nourishment, and Prize Giving BBQ for all marathon supporters and family.  

A thank you to you and your team for putting on a wonderful event. The Mt Oxford Odyssey is a very technically challenging course and I am sure as it grows it will be up there with the top trail run of NZ.

Also a thank you to all the crew who were at aid stations and on the course, all were helpful and encouraging. 

Anyone who is in to trail running should give this one a go. If I can do it at my young age of 71 and finish on time, anyone can. Challenge yourself.

Ian Spice. 

Marathon start:       6:00am


​Briefing:                   5:40am          

The course starts and finishes at Coopers Creek, Oxford. 
You ascend Mt Oxford and then head down the mountain on the western side to the Wharfedale Hut. There you do a loop of Black Hill visiting the hut near the summit, and then descend back to the Wharfedale Track. You will then climb Mt Oxford again and go back along the summit returning to Coopers Creek.

(A full map is included in your race pack.)

​There is some great single track running on technical trails but plenty of scrambling and walking in the mix. This marathon is not going to be 'run' - prepare for gut busting hiking. There is a good chance of some snow and ice along parts of the course and we won't alter the route unless there is a blizzard going on or if the snow/ice is too treacherous for you to tackle, so prepare for this in your training.

​The section down Mt Oxford toward the Wharfedale Hut is particularly 'gnarly' and there is some scrambling involved on both the descent and also when you head back up on your return towards the finish line.​ Head lamps are COMPULSORY to help you on your way around the course.