Kaiwara Classic MTB Race 2019

  • 08:00 AM
  • Culverden to Cheviot
  • 03 319 8642


The Kaiwara Classic offers 2 course options: the Challenge or the Epic – to provide an enjoyable event for almost all ages and fitness levels. However, both races require a reasonable level of fitness.  Both course options provide spectacular scenery along the way.

The Epic course is designed for riders who wish to test themselves over a longer time and in more difficult terrain. We hope the course will provide a slightly longer race for those who complete the existing course in say less than 2 hours.  Greater levels of fitness and skill are required to complete (and enjoy) the Epic, however, the course is not technical and still utilises farm 4wd tracks rather than single track.

Both races start together just outside Culverden and finish in Cheviot.


Challenge – 43km

This is the same 43km course that has been used for the previous events.  The race proceeds up the shingle Kaiwara Road and over the Kaiwara Saddle before descending through the picturesque Ethelton Valley.  The road conditions are typical shingle road but there are corners in the Ethelton with loose stones and there can be 3 or 4 rideable stream crossings/fords.


A climb up the Random Spur (farm 4wd track) follows through tussock covered hills with breathtaking views to the Seaward Kaikoura Range and out to the open sea in front of you.  A long descent leads onto the Mina Road before finishing at the Cheviot Rugby Grounds where hot showers and a hearty country cooked BBQ meal awaits.  The riders meal is included in the entry fee and additional meals can be purchased on the day for supporters and friends.


Current course records:

2010 Male: Bradley Hudson 1hr:26m:00s
2010 Female: Jeanette Gerrie 1hr:43m:00s


Epic – 45km

Shown in green below, the start and is the same as the Challenge with a climb of the Kaiwara Saddle, which will be a nice warm up for the climb which begins 1 kilometre from the summit of the Saddle.  Epic riders will be directed off the Kaiwara Road at this point (right hand turn) onto a rough 4wd track which climbs to the tops – small chainring definitely required.  The climb reaches approximately twice the elevation of Kaiwara Saddle and then traverses along a track which ranges from grassy to shalely loose rock.  The undulating nature of the track means there is often little respite and there are a couple of short sections (20m) were even the fittest riders may have to walk.  This track then descends quickly to the ‘sod hut’ corner in the Ethelton Valley and re-joins the Challenge course used previously – with the climb up the Random Spur and through to the finish in Cheviot.

The climb to the tops…

Looking back approximately half way along the tops…

Looking down to the Kaiwara Road in the valley…

Track descending back to the Kaiwara Road, which can be seen centre of photo…

We hope that the Epic course will provide a finishing time closer to 2 hours for the fastest riders. The majority of riders will take between 45 minutes and 1 hour longer to complete the Epic course compared to the Challenge.

Below is an elevation profile of the Epic course:


Current course records:

2013 – Male: Bradley Hudson 1hr:45m:49s

2014 – Female: Jeanette Gerrie 2hr:04m:41s