Three Peaks race to include ultra challenge

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A long-standing mountain trail running event takes advantage of Dunedin’s “beautiful” tracks.

Established in 1984, the Three Peaks Mountain Race involves a 26km route taking in the Flagstaff, Swampy Summit and Mt Cargill peaks.

There are also walking and team options, as well as an 11km course.

A 52km ultra race, Three Peaks Plus One, is a new addition to this year’s event.

Event co-organiser Steve Tripp, of Leith Harriers, said the ultra used most of the original 26km route with a 26km detour.

“It’s a very good detour,” Tripp said.

“We’ve got such beautiful trails so we’re taking advantage of that.”

The ultra would also appeal to runners from outside Dunedin as they were more likely to travel to compete in a long event rather than a shorter one, he said.

About 300 people from around New Zealand and overseas were expected to compete the highest number of competitors was 220.

The weather would not be a barrier on the day, within reason.

“Part of the joy of trail running is that it can be a different event in different conditions.

“Sometimes running in the storm really makes you know you’re alive.”

Most trail runners were used to running in all kinds of conditions.

“Some people will be challenged, hopefully.”

He believed this would be Dunedin’s first formal ultra event.

The event will be held on March 29.