Race Rules

• The race is to be run on the right hand side of the road facing oncoming traffic (including the Buller Bridge). Entrants crossing the centre white line risk disqualification.
• Entrants must obey the Traffic Rules and treat the road as being open at all times.
• Your entry is not transferable to other people.
• You must wear your race number as issued pinned on front and must not reduce its size or modify it in any way.
• Entrants being overtaken must give right of way to faster entrants during the event.
• No more than two abreast once event is underway.
• Entrants must not be accompanied by cyclists, vehicles, or people not entered in the event.
• Only entrants wearing official race numbers will be permitted to enter the finish area at Victoria Square. Those entrants carrying their numbers wrapped in a singlet or tee-shirt must put them on prior to entering the Square. This rule will be strictly enforced.
• Entrants who have completed the course will be disqualified if they attempt to cross the finish line a second time. If you have returned to accompany a friend or relative, then you should not re-enter the main gates of the Square.
• The Race Referee and the Chief Medical Officer will have the right to withdraw any competitor they consider to be under severe stress.
• Official time-keeping will cease at 2.15pm. Prize draw will be limited to those finishing within the official time period.
• As you enter Westport down Palmerston Street, please remain on the right hand side of the road. Do not run on the footpath.
• Please remove all gear from the bus and place in the vehicle near the start line. The vehicle departs 10 minutes before the start.
• At the start of the half marathon we want to keep the start line clear, so please assemble behind the line.
• There are 10 drink stations on the course. The first in the Half Marathon is at the 25K mark, 4ks from the start.
• Relay Teams to have one only support vehicle per team.
• Vehicles are not allowed to be driven along side of runners, This rule will be heavily policed. (If you have to follow team runners you must drive ahead and pull over to the side of the road so as not to stop other traffic.)
• A Speed Restriction of 30ks will be imposed for all Official and Relay Teams support vehicles. (This Rule must be obeyed for the safety of the competitors).

Health & Safety Policy

Health & Safety Policy Buller Gorge Marathon Policy Statement The Buller Gorge Marathon Trust will:
• Never compromise on the health and safety of all participants, visitors, volunteers and the public
• Will consider health and safety in all preparations of the event
• Taking all reasonable steps to ensure the equipment and practices maintain acceptable health and safety standards
• Communicating information on preventative measures that can be taken to reduce risk to health and safety
• Encourage participants and volunteers to identify and eliminate or reduce hazards
• Provide participants and volunteers with the opportunity to participate in the decision making process on health and safety matters
• Continually monitoring the effectiveness of practices and the management of a safe and healthy environment
• By complying with relevant legislation and providing safe working conditions. Purpose This policy has been developed to ensure that the Buller Gorge Marathon complies with all its legal obligations regarding the provision of a healthy and safe environment.

Application This Policy applies to all Buller Gorge Marathon, Half Marathon and Relay participants, committee members and contractors/volunteers. Responsibilities For the purpose of this Policy:
• Buller Gorge Marathon Trust will endeavour to ensure the safety and health of participants
• The responsibility for overseeing matters pertaining to health and safety
• All participants take practicable steps to ensure their own safety during the event and to ensure they do not cause harm to others either through action or inaction • Abide by requirements of all relevant Buller Gorge Marathon policies and procedures
• Report immediately any accidents/ incidents • Report any identified hazards.


Should you have any problems finding accommodation please contact our accommodation officer by email: accommodation@bgm.nz


Buses will leave Victoria Square at 7.00am sharp!
ROAD CLOSURE The course will be closed to all traffic from 8.00am until 10.00am from Inangahua to the Crossroads except for official and emergency vehicles. All vehicles must leave the closed area prior to the road closure, including cyclists.


To all members of the public and competitors in the Buller Gorge Marathon: By law we have to obtain a licence to sell alcohol during this event. Being a responsible host we would like to make your participation enjoyable, however due to the requirements of the law NO ALCOHOL is allowed to be brought into the grounds. Your cooperation in this matter will be very much appreciated. Alcohol can be purchased in the marquee.

Race Preparation

Essential reading for first timers.
• Avoid running to exhaustion during the week before the race.
• Eat only a light meal at least a couple of hours before the race starts. Avoid fatty foods, and increase your carbohydrate percentage of your diet for the two days prior to the race.
• Warming up prior to the race is important and should include stretching exercises for the calf, hamstring, quadriceps, groin and trunk.
• To avoid blisters wear ‘broken in’ shoes and socks. Trim toe nails, and use either Vaseline or powder on feet or in shoes. Get help from St Johns personnel if a blister appears.
• Avoid chaffing by rubbing Vaseline on the inside of legs, nipples, neckline and armpits. Note this particularly on a wet day. Also make sure clothing is comfortable, especially undergarments where rubbing or chaffing may occur.
• Drinks are very important to maintain hydration during the race. Drink before you become thirsty, otherwise dehydration can set in quickly. Drink at least two large glasses of water 10-20 minutes before the race starts, and then continue to drink at the aid stations at 5km intervals along the course where water and diluted orange are available. When training for a marathon, practice drinking during the run. Experiment with special drinks prior to race day.
• During hot weather, heat related conditions such as heat stroke, heat exhaustion, dehydration, and cramps may occur, particularly if the athlete is not acclimatised to running in these conditions. Pre-race training in these conditions is essential, and additional fluid may be required, little but often.
• The Buller Gorge Marathon is held in the warmer period of the year, therefore cold weather will not normally be experienced, however a combination of a cool, rainy or windy day could pose problems for some athletes. Hypothermia and cramps can occur in the later stages of a cold weather marathon due to excess heat loss in the earlier stages. A woollen hat, gloves and polyprop may help to overcome heat loss if required.
• Minor problems are likely to be experienced by many runners but some problems can be serious. Please report any significant injuries or runners suffering severe stress to the aid stations or radio equipped cars. If you develop any symptoms of over-exhaustion, hypothermia or heat injury such as nausea, vomiting, breathlessness, headache, severe chilling, dizziness, then seek assistance. The race referee will have the right to withdraw any competitor from the race who they consider is suffering undue stress.
• The correct pace judgement is important in any marathon and particularly the Buller Gorge Marathon or half marathon due to the terrain.
• Inexperienced runners tackling their first half or full marathon who aim just to finish or to finish in the best possible time should run at a conservative pace for the first three-quarters of their respective races. The worst of the hills are over by this stage at the 36km mark (or 15km through the half marathon) and the final 6.2km run into Westport is mainly downhill.
• After the race it is important to keep warm, shower or bath and rest. Drinks are available at the end of the race.
Please do not bother officials for times or placings as these will not be available until during the after race function. Times and placings before this are preliminarily only.


The full marathon and four person relay commences at the eastern end of Hawks Crag and heads up the gorge for approximately 8km to a turning point 380 metres past Berlins. The course then proceeds down the gorge, where the first changeover for the relay will be on the east side of Stitts Bluff. The course includes four testing hills at Tiroroa, Ohika-iti, Omanu and the crossroads, and into Westport to the finish in front of the grandstand at Victoria Square. The half marathon is run over the second half of the marathon course and commences 100 metres east of the Ohika-iti River Bridge. This will also be the second changeover of the relay, then the third will be approximately 100 metres east of the Scout Lodge and also finishes in Victoria Square. There are no laps of the track to complete, so for those runners who are still capable of mustering a sprint finish at the end of the marathon, the distance from the post office corner to the finish is 248 metres. The portion of Brougham Street to Queen Street will be closed to traffic except Official and Emergency. Runners enter Victoria Square via the main gates at the intersection of Brougham and Russell Streets. The course has been certified by a registered surveyor and should be run on the right hand side of the road facing oncoming traffic at all times including the Buller Bridge. Our Relay is made up of four person teams with participants running 10.55km per leg, over the marathon course.

Assembly Points

The assembly point for the half marathon is just east of the Ohika-iti River Bridge and for the marathon, at the off road parking area, 200 metres east of Hawks Crag. Please listen to road and starting marshals when asked to move to the starting area. Your race pack includes a numbered plastic bag, which can be used for gear, which will be returned via a vehicle provided to a secure area at Victoria Square. All gear bags must be at pick-up point 10 minutes prior to race start.
No responsibility can be accepted for valuable items (eg: cameras) left with gear bags.

Split Time Calls

Spilt times called out at the 2ks, 5ks, 10ks, 21.1ks, 30ks, 40ks and 10.5ks. Please note Time Calls are times for runners only.

Road Safety

Cars taking participants to the start must leave the road-closed area before 8.00am. Except those for the relay, please park safely. Several sections of the Buller Gorge are narrow and there are numerous bends. Supporters are reminded that the course is closed to all traffic except Official and Emergency vehicles along State Highway 6 at Ingangaha Junction to Four Mile Junction from 8.00am until 10.00am. State Highway 67, Brougham Street from Palmerston Street to Queen Street from 9.30am to 1.30pm. All road traffic laws and directions from the Police and Traffic Safety officials must be obeyed at all times and consideration must be given to other road users who may not be interested in the progress of the marathon. Your full co-operation is sought to ensure safety

Road Closure

The course will be closed to all traffic from 8.00am until 10.00am from Inangahua to the Crossroads except for official and emergency vehicles. All vehicles must leave the closed area prior to the road closure, including cyclists.


Buses will be provided for those competing in the full and half marathons only. Those competing in the relay will need to provide their own transport – one vehicle per team is only allowed. The buses will leave Victoria Square at 7.00am sharp. Please take note of bus marshals, or you may be left behind.

Start Times

The full and half marathon will commence at 8.30am sharp at their respective starting points. Please note that the relay will commence at 8.35 am. Please line up behind the runners.

Race Numbers

Should be pinned high up on front of singlet or tee shirt and be clearly visible throughout the race. Only runners with race number will be permitted to enter the finishing chute. (Note Race Rule number 1).

Race Results

All results will be posted on our website, www.bullermarathon.org.nz It is hoped that certificates for all finishers in the marathon will be available during the afterrace function. If certificates are not available or not collected, then they will be posted.

Aid Stations

We are again using the 200ml plastic bottles. R-Line Electrolyte Sports Drink and Water will be served on course at the 4, 8.5, 12, 16, 20.8, 26, 31, 36 and 40km marks. Marked personal drinks to be left in front of the grandstand in appropriate boxes before 7.00am and will be placed in front of the drink stations along with water and diluted orange. Sponges will be 100-200 metres beyond the feed stations. St Johns Ambulance personnel will be in attendance with an ambulance at Scout Lodge straight, moving toward the finish at the event progress, with stationery personnel at Cunningham’s gate, Buller Bridge, southern and northern end of Palmerston Street and at the square. If St Johns personnel and the Race Referees see a runner in distress, they will advise that person to withdraw from the race. It would be appreciated if runners accept this advice for the sake of their own health.


Photographers will endeavour to take photos of all competitors on the course. These photos will be ready for sale either as a photo, or on a USB stick, from the Photo tent at the after race function. After the event, the photos will also be linked to your race number and avaiable from our BGM Results Site.

Changing & Toilet Facilities

The changing rooms at Victoria Square will be open at 6.30am. There will be portable toilets at the both starts, at the halfway mark in the Half Marathon and at the cross roads, 7ks from the finish. During the event, if you have to go into the native bush, be aware of the steep banks and cliffs.

Tee Shirts

Tee shirts and singlets can be collected from Victoria Square from 10am-8pm on Friday and then on Saturday morning after 10am at Victoria Square. Only those with vouchers will be given Tee shirts although a few will be for sale at these times also.

Post Race Facilities

R-Line Electrolyte Sports Drink and Water Drinks, changing rooms and showers are available after the race in Victoria Square complex.


The Buller Gorge sandfly is a notorious wee beasty who preys on all, especially the non-competitors. Please ensure that you ‘spray’ with adequate protection.

Course Records

Marathon Entries: 184 runners (2018)

Marathon Men: Sam Wreford 2:16:03 (2018)
Marathon Women: Hannah Oldroyd 2:49:27 (2020)

Marathon Veteran Men: Phil Costley 2.28.27 (2015)
Marathon Veteran Women: Robyn Duncan 2.55.04 (2004)

Half Marathon Entries 2300 (2007)

Half Marathon Men: Phil Costley 1.03.09 (2001)
Half Marathon Women: Shireen Crumpton 1.13.03 (2006)

Half Marathon Veteran Men: Phil Costley 1.06.52 (2014)
Half Marathon Veteran Women: Shireen Crumpton 1.15.40 (2006)

Half Marathon Walking Men: Barry Neal 1.50.57 (2008)
Half Marathon Walking Men: Women Rosie Robinson 1.55.39 (2015)

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