The Crater Rim is held annually in Christchurch up and around the Port Hills tracks known as the Crater Rim Trails, named for the crater formed by a volcanic eruption (fortunately over 5 million years ago). The volcano is completely dormant but what remains is a beautiful harbour and some great tracks supporting running, walking and mountain biking.
This is a popular track for the large community of trail runners in Christchurch. Back in 2001, Port Hills Athletic club decided to begin hosting what was then, a free event, supporting both a 20KM and 30KM run. As the requirements for traffic management and popularity grew, we took on some key sponsors to turn this into a professional event that hosts runners from outside of the city and has had runners from as far away as Italy. We now offer 10km, 20km, and 29km race options.
In the varying conditions that we see in spring time for Christchurch, we’ve had conditions from very hot days in the high 20’s through to bone chilling conditions that saw snow, sleet and some of the trails turned into mini-rivers. The type of people that love these events, seem to love the terrible conditions more than the hot conditions for some reason!!
The track involves some steep ascents and descents and features some stunning views of both the Canterbury Plains and Lyttelton Harbour. All the tracks support the ability to remain running with the current format. There used to be a version of the race which involved a very big and fast descent near the end of the race that then took competitors to an uphill section that was almost impossible to walk!
Fortunately wisdom prevailed in later years and the 2011 Christchurch City earthquake actually destroyed that part of the track. In terms of what the earthquake did to the event, we have had to shorten the event for several years while tracks were fully restored. We have ended up permanently altering the race for some sections where track restoration wasn’t possible with the new course just as challenging!
For a full course outline and topographical map of the course please visit the race info tab at http://www.craterrimtrailrun.com/race-info.html
Everyone who runs the Crater Rim event can testify to the challenge and pleasure that is gained from being a part of something that is iconic and well recognised around the country.