Introducing the Mighty Totara – Mighty Totara

Introducing the Mighty Totara

The mighty Totara tree, a goliath of the New Zealand rainforest ...

... will watch over huge athletic performances in beautiful Totara Park as runners take on a scenic 6.7km loop ... over and over again. Who will conquer the half, full and ultra marathon distances? Which Relay Teams will prevail through 6 hour, 12 hour and 24 hour challenges? And - above all - who will be the Last One Standing in the Backyard Ultra?


Backyard Ultra

Backyard Ultra / Last One Standing
Experienced runners might consider a 6.7km run in under an hour to be a fairly easy effort. But how about doing it every hour, on the hour ... again and again ... until there was no one left to run with? This is the Mighty Totara Backyard Ultra. If you've never heard of a "Backyard Ultra" before ... prepare to be captivated by this fantastic new race format. All participants - starting together - have up to one hour to complete a 6.7km loop. If they complete it in time, they rest, recover, then line up ready to do it again on the next hour. Over and over again. 

For the hardy ... seeing the event to the absolute end means running 24 laps ... 100 miles! Will anyone make it in 2024?

Backyard 10 & Backyard 5
Don't be put off by all the talk around 50k, 100k and more. If you can run 10k in around an hour, the Mighty Totara Backyard Ultra has something for you. Backyard 10 (up to 10 laps / 67k) and Backyard 5 (up to 5 laps/33k) options are there so you can experience the unique fun and challenge of this unique format without having to commit to some of those truly staggering distances. Plus - you get to save a few $$$s over those opting for the more extreme "Last One Standing". Even if you've never run further than a 10k or half marathon, this is your chance to record your Longest Run Ever!

History of the Backyard Ultra
The "Backyard Ultra" format is the brainchild of Gary Cantrell, the visionary US Race Director who dreamed up the crazy Barclay Marathons. A race so challenging that, most years, there are no finishers! The race was imortalised in the documentary "The Barclay Marathons: The Race That Eats Its Young." This is required viewing for all participants!

Just Run

50KM Ultramarathon
If the backyard format of stop-start running doesn't suit your style then Saturday's 50K Ultramarathon might be just what you are looking for to scratch that "ultra" itch! The distances provides the opportunity to tackle a real athletic challenge, tick off a famous ultramarathon distance - and all on a loop course that mean friends, family (and food!) are within easy contact every few km. This is the ideal opportunity for your crew to cheer you on and even self-supported runners can lay out the nutrition needs and replenish at the end of each lap without having to carry it all on board. Mint!

Twilight Marathon
If you are a more "conventional" kind of runner and the thought of stopping and starting every hour doesn't really suit you then we have something that might just rock your world? Take on the more traditional 42.2km marathon distance ... with a twist! The Mighty Totara Twlight Marathon starts at 8pm which means head torches are mandatory as you wil be covering at least some of the course in the darkness! On a tough course, even experienced runners will be working hard to finish by midnight ... so you'll probably finish your marathon odyssey on a different day than when you started. How cool is that?

Sunrise Half Marathon
if those distances are just a bit forbidding, there is still a chance to be a part of the Mighty Totara weekend in our unique Sunrise Half Marathon. The biggest field of the whole event will line up with headtorches on for a 4am start and a half marathon experience that - we promise - will belike no other you have experienced. Half marathoners start on the night time course - run into a stunning Auckland sunrise - and complete their event on the day time course. Unreal!

All finishers take home a superb Mighty Totara finisher medal for your efforts whilst 50k and 42k warriors take home a coveted Halo. Read more about the medals and halos here.



Team Relay

Get The Gang Together
Always wanted to have the experience of an ultra but felt the distance involved was just a little bit much? The Mighty Totara Team Relay is your opportunity to fully immerse yourself in the ultra experience whilst retaining more modest goals. Teams of 2 to 6 team members can tackle 6, 12 or 24 hour options. Run yo8ur 6.7km lap - give it everything - and then rest up and cheer on your team mates until your turn comes around again.
C'mon! You can do it!

Totara Park

Nestled in the shadow of the Auckland Botanic Gardens and just off the Southern Motorway, Totara Park is a hidden gem of classic New Zealand bush and semi-tamed pasture. The event base is right in the heart of the park in a natural amphitheatre with a majestic downhill finish and plenty of space to spread out. Tent City will surround the venue and provide an electric atmosphere as each lap starts and finishes.  

The 6.7km loop features gravel path through stunning native bush, over and alongside streams and through well-maintained gravel farm tracks. A stuningly gorgeous route in the daytime, there is both more - and less!- to see at night when we switch to an easier course (missing out the staircases!) and head lamps will light the way. What an experience!

If you have a desire to truly test your limits ...

... to push yourself to achieve great things - in great company and truly mighty surroundings - the Mighty Totara is for you. 

C'ya there!