The course follows The Old Ghost Road in a north to south direction (starting at the Seddonville end of the trail and finishing at Lyell).
The course is 85km long and involves 2,600 metres of ascent. The starting elevation is 30 metres above sea level (Seddonville) and the finishing elevation is 100 metres above sea level (Lyell). The maximum elevation attained is 1,340 metres above sea level near ’Heaven’s Door’ on the mighty Lyell Range. Almost 15km of trail is over 1,000 metres elevation.
Prospective competitors are advised to not only note the course length and wilderness setting, but the elevation profile (refer map below). The majority of the elevation gain occurs in the second half of the course after competitors have already run the equivalent of a marathon.
Eligibility for the Old Ghost Ultra is self-selecting. But to state the facts, this event is long, major elevation gains feature deep in the race, 15km is spent at over 1000 metres and you will venture through the middle of nowhere. Be brutally honest with your abilities and by all means, use the fear of god to train yourself to new personal fitness heights! Unforeseen circumstances aside, we expect everyone who enters to be entirely capable of completing the course inside the cut off times.
Categories for the Old Ghost Ultra will comprise:
Open male (18-39 years on day of race)
Open female (18-39 years on day of race)
Vet male (40+ years on day of race)
Vet female (40+ years on day of race)
The prize list is set to grow, but as a minimum, prizes will include:
$1000 for the first male competitor;
$1000 for the first female competitor;
$500 for the ‘best story’ of the weekend (details to be provided at the event briefing).
Registration and briefing
Pre-race registration will be at the NBS Theatre in Westport between 3pm and 5.30pm on Friday 11th March 2015. Compulsory gear checks will be performed at this time and competitors will receive their event numbers.
An event briefing will be held at 6.30pm at the same venue (NBS Theatre in Westport) on Friday 11th March. Attendance at the briefing is compulsory and a condition of race entry – attendance will be recorded. The event briefing covers essential safety and environmental considerations.
Aid stations will be present at the following locations:
Specimen Point hut (17km);
Stern Valley hut (42km);
Ghost Lake hut (55km); and
Lyell Saddle hut (67km).
Each aid station will serve as a competitor check point and will have a first aid presence, water, bananas and a selection of energy foods. Aid stations must not be relied upon as a sole source of nutrition for competitors.
Drop bag service (Stern Valley hut)
The Old Ghost Ultra will offer a nutrition drop bag service for all competitors. Drop bags must be supplied at the pre-race registration and will be available to competitors at the Stern Valley hut aid station.
Race cut off times
In the interests of safety and logistics and out of fairness to others, cut off times are a hard and fast feature of this event. Cut off times apply at each aid station (listed above). The Old Ghost Ultra plunges deep into remote backcountry and competitors will not be allowed to continue in the event if arriving any later than the times specified at each cut off point listed below:
Specimen Point hut (8am);
Stern Valley hut (1pm);
Ghost Lake hut (5pm); and
Lyell Saddle hut (7.30pm).
Compulsory gear list
The Old Ghost Ultra is a serious backcountry undertaking and competitors need to be appropriately equipped. Below is the compulsory gear list that will be checked at the pre-race registration and at Stern Valley hut:
Head torch (and spare set of batteries);
Seam sealed waterproof jacket;
Seam sealed waterproof long pants;
Two thermal long sleeve tops (or equivalent);
First aid kit (minimum contents to include 1 x roll of tape; 2 x gauze pads; 1 x gauze bandage).
It goes without saying that competitors need to carry sufficient nutrition to sustain themselves for the duration of this event, including any unforeseen circumstances and delays.
In the interests of preserving competitor/support crew relationships, to cater for self-supported participation and to ease traffic congestion, bus transport will be provided from Westport to the event start line. Buses will depart Westport by 4am.
In addition, bus services will operate from the finish line at Lyell back to Westport at scheduled times on race day (nominally 5pm; 7pm and 10pm). The meeting location for the morning bus will be provided at the pre-race briefing. The cost of bus transport is included in the entry fee.
$285 per person. This includes bus transport to the event start and from the event finish (to and from Westport).
An event prize giving will be held in Westport at 9am on Sunday 13th March 2015. Full details will be provided at the pre-race briefing.
The Old Ghost Ultra is a creation of the not-for-profit Mokihinui-Lyell Backcountry Trust (MLBT) - the community group that built The Old Ghost Road. The MLBT is supported by key partners, most notably Top of The South Events. The Old Ghost Ultra has been created for two principle purposes: 1) To help introduce people to one of the most stunning and unheralded parts of our country; and 2) As a humble fundraiser towards our volunteer-led efforts to sustain The Old Ghost Road. Your interest and participation obviously satisfies both of these objectives. Thank you.
Information available in English