Everyone seems to quote this passage which is so very real about the event course – “The course is set on private land and includes trails by windswept beaches, native forest, waterfalls, river gorges and stunning coastal farmland”. See some photos at the bottom of this article.
Very smooth from the Napier War Memorial Centre, 48 Marine Parade, Napier.
The event is organised into five categories.
21km Walkers & Runners
15km walkers & Runners
5km Trail Taster Walkers & Runners
The 32km Course.
The 32km event is an out and back course that starts and finishes beside Hygge Cafe at Clifton Bay.
Starting beside Hygge Cafe at Clifton Bay you then head out on the road and enter the Cape Kidnappers Farm/ Clifton Station before heading into the forest and running on farm tracks and through the predator-proof fence then onto forestry roads on through a regenerating native forest block. The views even from this stage are worth the stop to take the occasional photo.
Running downhill now to the coast – more photos as the views are pretty epic. You then run along the coastline for a for kms which is a nice break from the hills because you’re going to need it. Next is the infamous climb up “Hellevator Hill” and to be honest I don’t think I’ve run (HAHA) – almost crawled up anything steeper in any running event ever – it was quite literally “Hell”. My decline started at this point quite literally – 20km in and hit with this WOW. It doesn’t get a lot better any time soon. I can’t remember a lot more after this section – it was just pure slog to get through.
Farm tracks along the top until you get to transition number two which does have a cut off time of 2 pm. I was spent by this time, ate three super crisp, lovely Hawkes Bay apples here at the transition station and refilled my Camelbak having already exhausted the 2L I was carrying.
Crossing back through the predator-proof fence the course now undulates over the Clifton Station (I’m sure there was more up than down) and then drops into the Maraetotara Stream valley. We crossed the stream 3 or 4 times (honestly I can’t remember how many times – but the water was such a welcome relief for the feet and lower legs).
Back out onto the road – the Hygge Cafe is a very welcome sight in the distance to finally finish back at in the next five minutes or so.
I think the comment one other runner doing the event said to me captures this event to a tee and I quote – she said “BRUTAL” and yes I tend to agree with her – it was indeed.
The Highlight For Me.
The beautiful views when up high on the course and the multiple crossings of the Maraetotara Stream.
Event Stats for 2020
Entrants = 397
1st Male 32km = 3:05:34
1st Female 32km = 3:36:51
The Bling (Medal).
Huge coloured and stylised medal for everyone who crossed the finish line after the various distances.
This event has made me think I should be giving two ratings from now on. One for toughness (which will be called the “Brutal Rating”) and one for the event overall.
The “Brutal” rating for the 2020 Cole Murray Cape Kidnappers Trail Run – 32km event is a definite 9 “Biceps” out of 10. Brutal indeed.
So “Overall” I’ll give the 2020 Cole Murray Cape Kidnappers Trail Run – 32km event a firm 8 “Running Shoes” out of 10. Pretty slick event.