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Goat 2024 Review

“Kaya Grabs the Goat by the Horns, as Swedish Orienteers Shine” – Michael Sutton


A little bit of overnight rain and some rocky technical trails were no match for Kaya Corporaal on Saturday as he took out his first Goat title. Kaya took to his opposition in a manner akin to taking a flamethrower to a gun fight, beating his father the irrepressible Sjors by 1 minute and 39 seconds and scorching the rest of the field by putting over ten minutes on all other comers across the 20km race. Sjors produced an impressive showing by holding his own to the hut, which marks around 3/4 into the race trailing by a slender 33 seconds, but lost a further minute and 6 seconds to his son in the final quarter of the race going up the waterfall climb, up Mama’s Mile and through to the finish. James Coubrough’s course record of 1hr 48min 25sec from 2011 remains untouched however for another year.

The arrival of Swedish couple Johanna and Albin Ridefelt gave this year’s Goat an international flavour. Johanna currently ranked 14th in the world in Orienteering, ran away with the Women’s race and finished 8th overall just one minute from the course record, leaving Goat regular Lance Downie to draw upon all of his local knowledge and experience to keep her at bay by a mere 6 seconds. While Albin a former European Orienteering champion in 2022 placed third overall and produced a solid time in his first Goat on the rugged and unforgiving course. Johanna however retained some bragging rights for their trip home, beating her husband’s time up Mama’s Mile by producing an electric time of 7 minutes and 9 seconds. For those yet to suffer the agony of dragging themselves up Mama’s Mile here’s some context; the Strava segment puts the climb’s gradient at 10.7% a steep but still a relatively tame grade that most good road runners should be able to keep their legs ticking over on. However after running the previous 18 kilometres on undulating, unstable and technical terrain you may as well be running up the thing with a large piano strapped to your back.

Coming home as 2nd and 3rd women Maia Flint and Miriam Clark both finished high up in the overall field with a 13th and 20th place respectively. The two Mountain Goats have strong international racing futures ahead of them moving towards Canfranc 2025. Having built up some experience now, both have demonstrated success on Ruapehu’s slopes is not defined by bursts of explosive speed, but instead by persevering and holding a steady unrelenting pace throughout. Featuring amongst the top men’s placings were also Rudi Smith (4th) off only a week’s rest since 3rd at the Taranaki Off-Road Half Marathon, Bobby Dean (5th) a former Mauao King of The Mountain Champion, Tommy Hayes (6th) 4th at the recent Luxmore Grunt and in the Women’s field multiple New Zealand champion and former Goat winner Sabrina Grogan (4th) and Kate Moore (5th) who finished 2nd at last years Toi’s Challenge.

The atmosphere, the organisation and the landscape of the Goat is fantastic and 2024 appears to have been no different, the event once again proved to be a pinnacle event where top technical athletes were able to thrive. Next up in the major events calendar Jumbo-Holdsworth (27th January) and the Tarawera Ultra Trail (17th-18th February).


Men’s Podium (Left to Right): Sjors Corporaal, Kaya Corporaal, Albin Ridefelt - Photos4Sale / Victory Events - All Rights Reserved
Kaya Corporaal tames a river crossing - Photos4Sale / Victory Events - All Rights Reserved
Women’s Podium (Left to Right): Maia Flint, Johanna Ridefelt, Miriam Clark - Photos4Sale / Victory Events - All Rights Reserved
Miriam Clark makes her way up the waterfall climb - Photos4Sale / Victory Events - All Rights Reserved

The Goat Adventure Race 2024 Preview

“Rock and Awe at the Goat 2024” – Michael Sutton

The 20th edition of the Goat is shaping up to be a family affair, with 8-time winner and legend of the event Sjors Corporaal of Galatea returning to the fray after a foot injury kept him sidelined last year. Despite coming off a year of limited racing the 47-year-old is in scintillating form, producing an impressive 8.59 over 3,000m in his less favoured track discipline two weeks ago following his 15:10 at the Night of Five’s last month laying claim to be one of the fastest in the world for his age for the 5000m. Lining up alongside Sjors will be his daughter Allie, son Kaya who has also been putting up solid track times and Kaya’s partner Miriam Clark all of whom will be medal prospects in the respective Open Men’s and Open Women’s races.


The race earns its title as an ‘adventure race’ notorious for the crashes, falls and blowouts on its unforgiving course. Starting on what could realistically be dubbed New Zealand’s ‘fastest road mile’ down the Bruce ski road. The road leads to the entry into a rocky landscape which along with stunning views of Mt Ruapehu, contains no less than 5 up/down cycles over a stretch of around 16km. The trail includes a series of scree rock fields, river crossings, knee deep mud and sharp drop-offs. With the final stretch starting down a slippery waterfall descent, onto a narrow boardwalk and then onto a sharp waterfall climb around 25% in gradient and into the final “Mama’s mile” up the punishing Turoa ski field road to the finish.


Miriam Clark last year’s second place will start as a favourite alongside Maia Flint for the women’s crown. Flint finished 65th at last year’s World Mountains (Up/Down) in Innsbruck, Austria. Former Champion and many times NZ Mountain Running Champion, Sabrina Edwards will be a contender again with her vast experience on the course. Also lining up next to them in group 1A will be Swedish orienteer Johanna Ridefeldt currently ranked 14th in the world and local athlete Michaella Wills.


In the mix for the men’s race outside of the Corporaal dynasty will be NZ Mountain representative Toby Batchelor 53rd at in the 2023 Worlds in the Up/Down, Ring of Fire winner Glen Chesterman, along with elite multisporter Bobby Dean taking part in his first Goat. While with such a gruelling race there are always bound to be some surprises heading up Mama’s mile to the finish.

Sjors Corporaal on his way to victory. The Goat Alpine Adventure Run on Mt Ruapehu PHOTO BY JAMIE TROUGHTON Copyright Jamie Troughton - reproduction fee may apply. Ph 027 274 3559
Race winner Sjors Corporaal The Goat Alpine Adventure Run on Mt Ruapehu PHOTO BY JAMIE TROUGHTON Copyright Jamie Troughton - reproduction fee may apply. Ph 027 274 3559

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