Ring of Fire – Volcanic Relay, Marathon & Solo Ultra
Saturday 7 April 2018
Introducing the brand new Ruapehu Ring of Fire
The Ruapehu Ring of Fire will undoubtedly be one of the most challenging and exhilarating alpine adventure running events in the Southern Hemisphere with its unique combination of terrain, distance, altitude and views.
The circumnavigation of the majestic Mount Ruapehu will challenge competitors physically, mentally and spiritually. It will be tough and uncompromising, but in the end, one of the most authentic sporting experiences available in New Zealand.
Participants will be treated to a mix of desert, scoria and lava fields, stunning native bush, scraggy tussock desert like terrain, crystal clear mountain streams as well as breath taking climbs and expansive views of one of the most treasured landscapes of Aotearoa New Zealand.
The event will start at 4:00am, well before dawn, outside the timeless elegance of the Chateau Tongariro Hotel with athletes donning headlamps to start their journey in the final hours of darkness. Travelling in an anti-clockwise direction on the Round the Mountain track to circumnavigate Mount Ruapehu, the runners will finish back on the grass lawn outside the spectacular Chateau Tongariro. The fastest individual solo/relay athletes are expected to complete the Ring of Fire in a mind blowing eight hours – the slowest, (but equally worthy) will take twenty hours to reach the Chateau Tongariro, arriving well after nightfall.
The Solo (individual circumnavigation) will be an incredibly tough physical and mental challenge that only carefully prepared individuals will take on.
The Teams Relay offers the opportunity to team up and take on the 72km (team circumnavigation) by completing one of three 24km long legs.
The 50km will take individuals on a journey around two thirds of the mountain from the Ohakune Mountain Road home to the Chateau Tongariro Hotel.
The historic Chateau Tongariro Hotel will be the start and finish for the Solo Ultra and Relay and the finish for the 50km. With Ngauruhoe nestled grandly in the foreground this area will be transformed into a global village of sights, tastes and sounds as citizens of the world gather to celebrate life, health and human achievement at the highest level.
There are currently two off road adventure running events on Mount Ruapehu that traverse one third of the mountain each – The Original Goat Tongariro (Iwikau Village, Whakapapa Ski Area to Turoa Ski Field) and the Tussock Traverse (Tukino Road to the Chateau Tongariro, Whakapapa Village).
The Ruapehu Ring of Fire is the natural progression of these two events providing the missing event link around the southern side of Mount Ruapehu (Ohakune Mountain Road to Tukino Road) and gives athletes from around the world the opportunity to circumnavigate the entire mountain in a professionally run one day event.
The Ruapehu Ring of Fire takes place in one of the most treasured landscapes on earth. Tongariro is New Zealand’s oldest national park and recognised a dual UNESCO World Heritage area for its cultural and natural values. Especially sacred to the local Maori people, it also has significant conservation and recreational value to the people of New Zealand. The park was made possible by the foresight and generosity of Ngati Tuwharetoa. The event course passes through the rohe of Ngati Tuwharetoa, Ngati Hikairo, Ngati Uenuku and Ngati Rangi.