Ring of Fire 50km Run

Ring of Fire 50km:

Event Day Timeline:
5.30am – 5.45am.  Buses depart from Chateau Tongariro
7.10am. Karakia at the top of Ohakune Mountain Road
7.12am. Sunrise
7.15am. Start
12.55pm. First Finisher Expected
2.15pm. Course Cut-Off to leave Tukino Aid Station
4.00pm. Course Cut-Off to leave Waihohonu Hut
7.15pm. Course Cut-Off at Chateau Tongariro
7.43pm. Sunset

NO Saturday Registration:
Friday pre event registration is compulsory for all Ring of Fire 50km entrants.  There is no opportunity for pre event registration on race day.

Compulsory Gear:
This event requires the absolute full list of compulsory gear and is the same as Ring of Fire 73km entrants.  Please download this file Comp Gear 73km and 50km for details on exactly what is required so you are prepared.

Check out our sponsors, True Fleece Merino for your base layer long sleeve and beanie!

Minimum Age
Entrants must be 18 years on event day unless an exemption (based on previous performances) is granted by the Race Management team. Requests can be emailed to info@rof.co.nz

Entry Qualification
This event is a beast and you must be fully prepared to take on this distance and level of elevation change, high up in the mountains.  Our safety management plan is comprehensive and is resourced to respond to both well prepared entrants “having a bad day” and the usual spills an event like this usually has.  It is however critical that underprepared entrants in any specific distance are shifted to an alternate distance – one in which they feel fully prepared to meet the challenge ahead.  There is not one clear qualifying standard for the 50km event as such (that may come in future years).  You’ll be asked to submit answers to some simple questions shown below during the online registration process.

In accordance with our Safety Management documentation and upon reviewing your supplied info, our course team reserves the right to:
– Request additional/updated information/evidence of preparedness from you.
– Downgrade your entry to a shorter distance (appropriate refunds will be made in these scenerios)

Tracks Used:
Start on Ohakune Mountain Road.  Turn left into the Round The Mountain Track.   Merge with the 32km entrants at the Tukino Access Road.  Merge with the 21km entrants near the Waihohonu Hut.  With 3km to go follow the Lower Taranaki Falls Track to the finish.

This 50km epic starts with the Ohakune Mountain Road descent, then enters native bush trails. It breaks into open boulder fields and includes the crossing of the Wahianoa River (there is a swing bridge) and finishes with sand, tussock, and rocky terrain at the top of the Rangipo Desert.

The first half of your course is technical and includes big valleys with long climbs which are very exposed in sections.  Once you leave Tukino Access Road you are on a true desert landscape, featuring wind sculptured sands and volcanic rock to the Ohinepango Springs, climbing to the Tama Saddle before descending homeward on well-formed tracks.

Please note: Your course is essentially Leg 2 (The “Missing Link” Leg) and Leg 3 (the “Traditional Tussock” Leg) of the epic 73km Ring Of Fire Ultra event – you can read up more about that event here.

1912m Up
2340m Down.

Drop Bag Service:
Anytime during the Friday event registration, 50km athletes can provide our crew with specific gear/food/drink that they would like available to them at the Tukino Access Road Aid Station. All gear must be in your own bags (ideally super noticeable to you).  Make sure your bags are sealed, compact and have your name on them. We will also provide ID stickers. There is no spectator access to this aid station, hence the drop bag service.  Drop bags will be returned to the Tongariro Registration Room following the closure of the aid stations.   You will need your event number to pick up your drop bags at the finish area on Saturday.  Depending on timelines gear bags can also be collected Sunday morning from us.

Aid Station:
While it’s strongly recommended for entrants to be self sufficient on course,  (and to absolutely take advantage of the drop bag service), the event will have medical support, food, shelter and drinks available to entrants at the Tukino Aid Station.  You’ll have the ability to fill up water supplies,  enjoy a cold cup of R-Line electrolyte or Coke, a hot cup of coffee/tea/tomato soup, and a quick snack on chips/lollies or a Peanut Butter/Jam Sammie.

A Cupless Event:
We are not providing cups at the Aid Stations because we are trying to minimise the waste created from the event. Please bring your own cup or cups.  There are some very good silicone cups for sale in NZ.

Time Spent In The Dark:
While you may not spend any time in the dark you need to be prepared.
Your start area will be dark (you start the event 3 minutes after sunrise) and in the evening (if still on course) you have sunset at 7.43pm and a course cut-off of 7.15pm.

Course Cut-Off Times:
50km entrants who have not departed the Tukino Access Road Aid Station (approximately 27km from the startline) prior to 2.15pm will be required to exit the event course and take event transport from Tukino Access Road.  Minimum overall average pace to Tukino Access Road is 15.5 minutes per km.

The first section of the course from the start line to Tukino Access Road is considerably tougher than the second section home.  Your pace on the second friendlier section of the course must slightly increase to continue to make the next two course cut-off points.  50km entrants who have not departed the Waihohonu Hut area (approximately 35km from the startline) prior to 4.00pm will be required to exit the event course at the Hut and walk out to the Desert Road with our course crew. Minimum overall average pace to the Hut is 15 minutes per km.

The finish line is closed for 50km entrants at 7.15pm.  Minimum overall average pace start to finish is 14.4 minutes per km.

Please note: these are much tighter cut-off times than was permitted during the 50km events at both the 2018 and 2019 Ring of Fire 50km events.  The top 80% of the Ring of Fire 50km starters would have made cut-offs and made it home under 12 hours but the bottom 20% of starters would have struggled to make some or all of the cut-offs mentioned above.  If you are concerned about the cut-off times, please remember we have the 32km Tussock Traverse option to consider for 2022 until you feel more prepared to tackle the Ring of Fire 50km course.

Parking and Transport Info Pre Event:
Bus transport to the start of the event is optional and it is user pays ($35.00).
You can book this through the online registration system.

All bus transport departs from the one location inside Whakapapa Village (on the ramp right outside the Chateau Tongariro Main Reception doors). Traffic management and key event staff will be onsite assisting with your arrival and efficient loading onto the buses. Please arrive on time. You need to be visible to event staff at 5.30am to enable smooth boarding and departure by 5.45am (LATEST).

There are no additional bus pick up points along the way to the start line, however supporters are free to park in and around the start line if they wish to drive to the start line and watch their athlete start. Bus transport will arrive in the start area approx 20-30 minutes prior to your race start.

Gear Check In / Collection Info: 
Any personal gear that you would like available at the Tukino Access Road Aid Station can be left in clearly marked drop bags with our registration crew Friday night.

Any personal gear (that you don’t want to take on course with you) can be dropped into the Gear Bus near the start area.

Any personal gear dropped to the Gear Bus will be available for collection inside the Tongariro Room (the pre race registration venue).

Thank you to our sponsors!