Just after the start, there is a 90 degree left turn onto the gravel track around the western lake. Take care, as there is a slight downhill gradient initially. Remember, all results are based on NET TIMES – the difference between the time you actually cross the start line and the time you cross the finish line – so there is no need to push up front. Seed yourself according to your abilities.
Off the gravel track, there is a short uphill to exit the park and then a right hand turn onto the footpath on Civic Crescent. The footpath splits into two here with a grass median. Avoid the median because it contains trees and drainage ducts where it runs adjacent to the park. Look out also for the bus shelters on the side of the path closest to the road. Follow the path on a gentle downhill to the junction of Don McKinnon Drive.
Without crossing over, continue along the closed southern carriageway of Don McKinnon Drive until the crossing point where you will be turned around to return back along the northern carriageway. A right turn into Appian Way and a short downhill section will take you to the entrance to North Harbour Stadium complex.
The North Harbour Stadium section begins with a gentle uphill run on a winding approach road to the main stadium entrance. At the top of the drive, you will be directed onto the stadium perimeter road. This 1km+ section of the course is completely flat and circumnavigates the stadium and training ground in a clockwise direction. Just prior to completing one full lap, head down a gentle slope on the Gate C access road to the footpath on Oteha Valley Rd. Follow the footpath to Appian Way.
After crossing Appian Way, you will be directed into Corban Ave for a short distance prior to a right turn into Warnboet Lane. Warnboet Lane becomes Davies Drive and, at the end of Davies Drive, turn right into Munroe Lane on the footpath. At the top of Monroe, turn right again to return to the Don McKinnon Drive crossing. Once across the road, you will be directed into the Munroe Lane extension – towards the start line – for a short out-and-back section which makes our race course distance correct.
Super-wide footpaths on Don McKinnon Drive and Civic Crescent bring you back to the entrance to the park and afford tantalising views of the finish line throughout. The road rises gently along Don McKinnon Drive and then drops towards the park entrance along Civic Crescent. A right turn from Civic Crescent takes you back into the park. Take care on the downhill section at the entrance. Enjoy – but don’t fall into – the wonderful water feature that curves down the hill on your immediate right. Another right turn takes you onto the gravel path and in front of the main stage.
This is the point where “Chariots of Fire” starts playing in your head (but not a good time to start running in slow mo). From the stage, you have about 300 metres to guts out a spectacular finish. Let it all hang out (unless you are on lap one of the 10km, see below).
10KM: Coming down the back straight towards the finish line, keep to the right on your first lap. As those in the 5km turn left, you keep going straight to begin your second lap. Yeah, it’s gonna hurt to run past that finish line, but imagine how good it will feel the second time around.
Coming along the back straight, keep to the left and then take a left turn to get back onto the Art Bridge … you are back where you started 14 minutes ago (OK, maybe a little bit longer than that). Run across the bridge – the soundtrack in your head is now the theme from Rocky – and, at the end, follow the flags down the finish chute.
You made it! Once across the line, grab a drink and flop down on the grass for some passive recovery!