Race Rules
Saturday 1 March 2025

Race Rules

All Events

  • You must attend or read the compulsory race briefing for your race. Briefings will be posted on the website and sent out by email prior to race day. There will also be a race day briefing immediately prior to the start that will include current weather and trail conditions. 
  • You must adhere to the volunteer’s and marshal’s instructions at all times.
  • Only registered athletes are able to take part in the event.
  • Competing under someone else’s name is not permitted, and results in disqualification from the race of both competitors. Both parties will be ineligible for any merit or spot prizes and risk being banned from entering any future Motatapu events.
  • Your race number must be clearly visible and attached to the front of your shirt or bike.
  • Mandatory Gear must be carried at all times. Any athlete found not to be carrying their mandatory gear will be either not permitted to start, given a time penalty or disqualified.  This is at the sole discretion of the Race Director.  
  • The Race Director reserves the right to withdraw any competitor they feel is in distress and would not be capable of completing the event at any stage.
  • You must keep to the trail.
  • Headphones are highly discouraged as there may be emergency 4WD vehicles moving through the course. If headphones are worn, ensure that the volume is set at a level where surrounding sound can be heard.
  • Cut-off times have been put in place to ensure the safety of all and to ensure that everyone completes the event well before dark. If you don’t reach the cut-off points on the course by the required time or you are deemed unfit to continue the race by event staff, you will not be allowed to continue with the race and will be driven off course by our crew. 
  • Each race has a specific finish line cut-off time. You must reach the finish line by this time or officials will remove you from the course and you will show as DNF in the results.
  • Access to these privately-owned stations is only permitted on race day so please respect all private property both before and during the event. Competitors must not take photographs of buildings and homesteads and must not harm, approach, or interfere with any stock.
  • TAKE OUT ALL YOUR RUBBISH! If seen littering you will be disqualified, plus you are putting the future of the race in jeopardy. Leave only footprints or tyre prints.
  • Staff and medical vehicles will be moving through the course during the race. Please be respectful of this and move out of the way as quickly as possible. Normal road rules apply throughout, please move to the left and let faster traffic pass on the right. Be courteous to all participants.
  • Once you have crossed the finish line, you will be directed to walk through a Didymo wash station at the exit of the chute. You must walk through the wash station, bikers can push their bike through. This has been requested and approved by Bio Security NZ. “Didymo growths can adversely affect freshwater fish, plant and invertebrate species by reducing the number of suitable habitats. It can form large, thick mats on the bottom of streams, rivers and occasionally on lake edges where there is a wave action. It has no human health risk” – Bio Security New Zealand

Running / Walking Events specific race rules:

  • The use of running with poles is permitted for the Ultra Run.
  • The use of poles is only permitted in the Walking categories of the Trail Marathon and Miners Trail events.

 E-Bike specific race rules:

  • The E-Bike category is NOT a race. E-Bikers seen racing through the course will be asked to exit the course and return with the DNF shuttle.
  • Pedal-assisted E-Mountain Bikes only with an engine of a maximum 300 watts (not watt hours) as required by New Zealand law.
  • Batteries must hold a sufficient charge for a minimum of 47km. We highly recommend staying in eco mode to make it all the way through.
  • E-Bikers must have a bike bell to use when approaching other bikers and runners and only overtake when it is safe to do so.
  • E-Bike riders cannot start on the course before 8:30am.
  • E-Bikes must be up to the recommended bike check standard.
  • E-Bike riders must have intermediate mountain bike skills.
  • Please be respectful on the course. Only overtake when it is safe and in a courteous area to do so.
  • We recommend that you check with your dealer directly on suitability. The bikes will have to make their way through ~10 small creek crossings and 11 crossings of the Arrow River which is roughly mid-shin in depth. They will get wet.

Personal Safety

  • The event takes place in the mountains and in any alpine situation you are the person primarily responsible for your own safety.  
  • You must carry the mandatory gear at all times, unless instructed otherwise by the Race Director. All competitors must carry the same mandatory gear so no one is disadvantaged.  
  • You should consume enough food and drink to get you through the event, either as snacks, energy gels or electrolyte drinks.
  • If it’s a hot day, do not underestimate the amount of water you need for this race!
  • There is no cell phone reception on the course.
  • Any concerns or complaints can be made to [email protected] and will be treated with confidentiality. Complaints forms will also be available from the Finish Line Info/Rego tent.
  • Responsibility – When you are in the mountains you are the person primarily responsible for your own personal safety and appropriate gear. There may not be someone immediately nearby to assist you when needed.
  • Weather conditions – The weather can close in and become freezing with white-out conditions at any time of the year in this region. You do not want to be stuck out there without sufficient warm gear if you are injured.
  • Access – Many parts of the course are inaccessible by large vehicles so there is no quick way out of the area. The only exception is if you experience a medical emergency

Course Safety

  • Remain in control at all times, especially on the steep downhill sections. Out-of-control mountain bikers are a hazard to themselves and others.
  • The Soho descent is steep and fast so be sure to watch your speed, normal road rules apply. If you are tired or uncertain of the descent you may wish to walk your bike, be sure to stay to the left.
  • The Macetown Track is a narrow 4WD road and has a steep 400m drop-off to the river on the rider’s right. Going over the edge could result in major injury. Stay left and watch your speed.
  • If you need to get off your bike (e.g. at Aid Station or going up a hill) move to the left before getting off your bike so others can pass you – don’t just stop in the middle.
  • River Crossings: There are numerous creek & river crossings throughout the course, the majority being towards the finish line. Depending on recent rainfall, stream levels can vary, sometimes reaching up to waist-deep in places. The shallowest spot to cross is generally downstream of the intersection. If you’re in any doubt or very tired, get off your bike and tread carefully as there may be loose slippery rocks. If heavy rain results in any rivers becoming uncrossable, an alternative high water route will be used over the last few kilometres. If required, marshals will direct competitors accordingly.
  • We have a range of expert medical services throughout the course and at the finish line. If you require medical assistance or come across an accident please make your way to the nearest aid station or checkpoint and report the accident.
  • Radio communication: as cell phone reception is only available at the start and finish lines, we place our own dedicated radio communication services between Glendhu Bay and Arrowtown. This includes installing three radio repeater stations on the highest points along the route to improve our team’s communications in the valleys. These radios are distributed throughout the course at Aid stations, in the designated Queenstown 4WD-Club vehicles and Rhinos, which carry our Medics and Tail End Charlies.

Accident Response

Given the number of competitors on the course relative to the number of support crew, it is likely that in an accident or emergency, you or a fellow competitor may reach that person before the support crews do. If so, you should proceed as follows:


If you are the first on the scene please stop and assist the injured/distressed competitor & gather as much information as possible.


Talk to first on scene then proceed to the nearest radio (Aid Station / Medic / 4WD / Tail End Charlie / some Marshalls) to report the situation (even if that means returning the way you came) so we can get expert help on the scene ASAP.


Stop to see if any assistance can be offered and proceed if not. 

If you assist please take a note of the time you spend assisting the injured person and we may be able to credit your final race time, after verifying it, of course!

The Race Director reserves the right to amend or add rules for safety or other reasons.

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