Marathon start: 6:00am
THE MARATHON RACE BRIEFING IS HELD 20 MINUTES BEFORE THE RACE START.
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.
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.
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.
You can book online for a post race massage with the crew from Head2Toe Massage Therapy.
$20 for 15 minutes.
All Gear Checks are on the morning of the race between 5:00am - 5:30am.
Early Entry: $180 up until 1st Dec.
Standard Entry (from 1st Dec): $195
All entries includes finishers medal, custom Salewa buff, post race nourishment, and an experience of a lifetime.
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.
Early Entry: $330 (team of 2) up until 1st Dec.
Standard Entry (From 1st Dec): $360
PLEASE REFER TO ATHLETE INFO FOR ALL COMPULSORY GEAR.
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.
(we'd like you to know he also said he had a great day - and he's done the marathon twice!)
Race report by Jarrod Cook
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.
2021 Competitor Andy Beale:
Long post for comedic effect. Scroll to the end for my top tip.
A long time ago I entered the Oxford Odyssey. Why? Because I've never done an official marathon and this one is sold as the hardest marathon in NZ.
My self belief dominates and my need for dopamine is high. Don't muck about, hard is my middle name.
How hard was it? I cannot recall suffering this much for so long - ever! The uphills made my legs and lungs beg for mercy. Three ascents approx 1000m each. The downs were worse than the ups though. Every step downhill my hips and knees kept singing "51, 51, you're 51 and you're a knobhead".
Much of the agony was borne from a lack of training. I ran further yesterday than I have in the last 6 months combined. You may recall some torn ankle ligaments and a DNF on the Crater Rim Ultra; followed soon after by a torn achilles whilst chasing Tom Downs up some stairs. Rehab for track cycling became the focus and running was outlawed in Badgerland. Needless to say that the prep wasn't ideal.
Race day involved getting up at 3.30am to be in Oxford for 5am. Hence I forgot the head torch and the running poles. I wasn't too fussed about the poles because I hadn't trained with them, and they are one step away from a Zimmer frame.
Start line - I saw 3 people without poles. Even the youngsters had poles. Oops! The terrain was brutal. After 2 hours my spine had fused, and my back muscles solidified. I was now cursing my lack of poles, general over confidence and stupidity.
There was only one way out. I traveled as quickly as I could with each step. At no point was I not in pain. In my head I was Andy McNabb heading for the Syrian border and trying to stay alive. Read Bravo Two Zero, if you haven't already.
Then, some respite. The combination of cold, wet, and poorly fitting short liner, led to some chafing of the right testicular nether region. Normally this would be cause for alarm, but not today. The distraction came as welcome relief from agony elsewhere. A brief moment hilarity ensued as I realised that I was prepared to sacrifice the crown jewels in order to keep my legs.
The last 12km back up and down Mount Oxford took me 2.5 hours - and that was everything I had.
So here's my top tip for life - never should you ever do this event unless you either hate yourself or you want to take self-flagellation to a new level.
And if you need a laugh, swing by the house and watch me trying to walk. I won't be going anywhere today.