The Big Kid

Event Update #2, July 2020
Next Event: PLEASE LOCK IN Saturday 27th February, 2021.

Pre COVID-19 we had been re-evaluating the traditional date that we have used for 16 years: the first weekend of December. This is due to challenges with adverse weather in the last two iterations of the event. Whilst we fully understand that the event takes place in a changeable alpine environment, ultimately we are in the business of delivering sustainable, memorable event experiences for our ever-faithful Goats. There are more stable times for weather in the Tongariro National Park and alongside balancing the needs of event participants, staff, partners and the local community, weather has been our principal focus. In light of this, our preference was to move The Goat into the mid-to-late summer period for the future and we initially penciled in Saturday 20 February 2021.

We have now locked in Saturday 27 February 2021 as our next event date which will provide some other exciting opportunities surrounding the event. We hope to provide one further update which will be communicated to our Goat email database before we open entries in August or September (at the latest).

So thanks for your continued interest and support of our quintessential kiwi trail running adventure events – never tamed!
We’ll be in touch again soon.
Jason & Luke 👍
#thegoattongariro #letsgoat

Below Is Event Information From The Most Recent Big Kid Event In 2019.

The Big Kid In A Nutshell!

The Big Kid – No Kidding! Is a very groovy and grunty 18km alpine adventure run starting in Horopito near Smash Palace (made famous in the movies Goodbye Pork Pie & namesake Smash Palace) and heading up to the start of the Mangaturuturu Track to the hut to join the main Goat course for the last 3km up the magnificent Cascades Waterfall, Mama’s Mile where if you’re not crying out for your mama you’re not going hard enough – up to the finish at Turoa Ski Area. This Big Kid event was first staged during the tenth anniversary event in 2013 (as a 16km event) to accommodate the over demand for the Goat.

The Big Kid is an awesome way to still participate, build up for the Goat and join the party and get some bling including a special edition finishers medal and an event cap (RRP $40.00).

How do you compare the Big Kid with the Goat Tongariro?

– The Big Kid is 2km shorter and a couple of notches off the toughness & technical scale of the Goat but is still a very challenging, yet achievable alpine adventure run.
– The key difference is while the Goat Tongariro destroys you with approx 1200m of ascent and 1200m of descent, the Big Kid provides plenty of up (approx 1050m) but only approx 200m of descent. The Big Kid ultimately punishes the legs a little less. See the event profile comparisons below

Big Kid Profile.

vs Goat Tongariro Profile

Event Start Times & Waves

From on the grass outside the Horopito Hall, the event start is via a series of 6 wave starts (approx. 50 athletes per wave) with the first wave (wave 1A) departing at 7:30am. Each consecutive wave departs at 3 minute intervals thereafter until the last wave (wave 6A) departs at 7.45am. The staggered start over 15 minutes is necessary to preserve and protect the pristine environment of the Tongariro National Park and enhance the runner experience in the early stages of the event. Wave allocation is based on both times submitted by athletes to complete a flat road half marathon, and our stats held on previous Goat finish times. The athletes we predict will be the fastest and have a chance of winning the event will be wave 1A. The winning male and winning female will be the first to cross the line so if you believe you have a strong chance of winning the overall event please ask the organisers to consider moving you to wave 1A (if you are not there already). All age category winners are based on net time, so your starting wave will not determine your age category placing. The minimum age for participation in the event is 16 years on event day.

Have You Goat What It Takes? Cut-Off Times.

The Big Kid has not been designed as a walking event. Participants need to enter with the intention of running the majority of the distance. Key event marshals will be positioned at the 9km mark (approx half way) of the course. All participants will need to reach this point within 3 hours. We strongly believe that unless you are at this mark prior to 10.30am (if wave 1A) and up to 10.45am (if wave 6A), you will not reach the finish line within our course cut-off time of 3.30pm as the first half of the course is significantly easier than the second half of the event course. Participants who do not make the cut off time will be turned around. While it is disappointing for the handful of people who have been turned around, continuing as an event athlete is NOT an option if you miss the cut-off. Anyone who is turned around will be accompanied by course personnel back out to Horopito where transport will be arranged to take them to the finish area at Turoa.

Event Registration Timeline and Requirements. A must read.

Registration Timeline (different times from previous years).
– Event registration for the Big Kid event participants will take place at the following times
A – 3.30pm – 9.00pm on Friday 6th December at the Powderhorn Chateau, bottom of the Ohakune Mountain Road in Ohakune.
B – 6.00am – 6.30am on Saturday 7th December at the Powderhorn Chateau, bottom of the Ohakune Mountain Road in Ohakune.

PLEASE NOTE: There is no event registration available on the start line in Horopito.
(To assist us with our pre event registration staffing requirements please be sure to select the box that most likely represents when you will register for your specific event on event weekend in your online registration)

– You cannot collect race numbers for others.
– You cannot transfer your race number or wristband to others after picking it up.
– All athletes will be required to bring personal ID to the event registration to confirm that their details match the details we have in our registration system. Our event safety team needs to have the correct details of everyone we release out onto the Goat course.
– Anyone in breach of the above requirements will be issued a ban from future Goat events – we issued bans in 2017 and we hope to not issue any bans at future events.

PLEASE BE PREPARED. Here’s the preliminary registration process for 2019.
#1 Dig your shoes out and pass by the Check Clean Dry Team. They will supply you with a sticker once they are satisfied your shoes pass the test.
#2 Pass through the Compulsory Gear Check area (see the full compulsory gear list below). Once checked your hand will be stamped, which effectively means your gear is good to go!
#3 Take your stamped hand and personal ID up to the registration tables. Once your ID is sighted and it matches the details we have on file you, we will then place your official goat wristband securely on your wrist.  You’ll then be issued with your event number/transponder plus any bus tickets and dinner tickets that you have pre ordered. Please don’t lose these tickets.
#4 Review the up to date weather conditions and ask any last minute questions you may have.

Event Compulsory Gear


The Goat Tongariro team take the safety of our competitors, marshals and event staff very seriously. During the event course competitors can become up to 8 kilometres away from the nearest access roads as they traverse very rugged alpine terrain in an environment that is incredibly changeable and can be incredibly harsh. The compulsory event gear requirements are for your own safety and enjoyment. Due to the rugged environment and variable weather conditions it is imperative that you carry or wear the right gear at all times.


  • Thermal long sleeved top;
  • Thermal beanie;
  • Thermal gloves;
  • A Thermal/survival BAG;
  • A Whistle;
  • Drink carrying device. Note: due to the isolated environment there are no aid stations on the course;
  • Suitable SEAM SEALED weather barrier jacket.
    ** Read more information about the jacket required here…

Step 2. At the compulsory pre event briefing (if not before), organisers will notify competitors if the compulsory gear rating for the event will be a LEVEL ONE or LEVEL TWO.

A LEVEL ONE event means all compulsory gear shown at pre event registration needs to be taken on your Goat journey but you can make your own decision as to what compulsory gear you will wear on the start line and what compulsory gear you will carry in your pack.

A LEVEL TWO event means all compulsory gear shown at pre event registration needs to be taken on your Goat journey PLUS you will only be allowed to move into the start area if you are wearing certain items, which will be announced at or prior to the compulsory pre event briefing in the start area by our event safety team.

Step 3. Random spot checks will also be conducted prior to the start to ensure compliance. Competitors showing non compliance will have their race number and transponder taken from them and will not be permitted to start the event.

Highly Recommended Event Gear

In addition to your required compulsory gear (listed above) we also encourage competitors to take the following gear onto the course.

  • Off road running shoes (instead of road shoes)
  • Thermal short sleeved top
  • A first aid kit
  • Sunscreen
  • Sports glasses
  • Running cap
  • Ankle length gaiters

Event Transport Options

Due to the traffic management limitations in and around our start venue, event transport from Ohakune to the start line (Horopito) of the event is compulsory.  It is your decision if you’d like to get collected from supporters in the finish area or pay for the user pays transport back down to Ohakune.

User pays event transport for the Goat Tongariro is available to purchase  purchase direct from the Event Plus store.

– Bus Ticket. Big Kid. Round Trip (Ohakune to Start, plus Finish to Ohakune) – $25.00
– Bus Ticket. Big Kid. Pre Event Only (Ohakune to Start) – $15.00

Due to planning requirements bus tickets must be booked online by Sunday 1st December, 2019 at 11.59pm, so please organise yourself in advance of this date and avoid disappointment.

PLEASE NOTE: No refunds will be issued for tickets cancelled after Sunday 1st December, 2019 at 11.59pm. Each cancelled bus ticket prior to this will incur a $5.00 admin fee.

Saturday Morning Pre Event Bus.

The pre event bus departure time from Ohakune to the start of The Big Kid event (Departure from outside the Powderhorn Chateau): is 6.45am. You must have pre booked prior to Sunday 1st December, 2019 at 11.59pm to board.  To be on the safe side PLEASE wait on the footpath on Mangawhero Terrace (outside of the Powderhorn) from 6.30am ready to jump on board.

Arrival at your Big Kid Start Area.

Entrants taking bus transport will have an approx 10 minute bus ride and arrive at the Horopito Hall between 6.55am and 7.05am.

What happens pre race starts?
Due to the early start, entrants who take bus transport will have a limited time to stretch, use the toilet facilities, place unwanted gear on our gear bus (which will be transported back to a secure area at Turoa for you) and prepare your thoughts for what is ahead. There is a short race briefing held at 7.20am and the first wave departs bang on 7.30am.

On board the gear vehicle in the start area there will be gear tags, rubber bands and vivids. Please bring your own small bag to place any of your unwanted gear onto.  Grab a tag, tie it to your bag and write your race number on the tag.  The gear vehicle departs after of the last wave.  Gear can be collected inside the Cafe post event up at Turoa.

Saturday Afternoon post event buses.

Buses leave Turoa (the top of Ohakune Mountain Road) post event at least event 30 minutes from 10.00am through to 4.45pm (final trip down the mountain).  All post event buses drop entrants down to the Powderhorn Chateau at the bottom of Ohakune Mountain Road.

Event Running Surface

The majority of the event is off road with surfaces varying from compacted soil, mud (if track is wet), loose and exposed base rock to boardwalks, steps, streams with boulders and the forest floor. Be prepared to get your feet wet and perhaps, at times, a little muddy. There are also some very steep climbs on this event course – not for the faint hearted!

Check Clean Dry Protecting this Place

The Goat Tongariro traverses some awe-inspiring wilderness and we need to make sure nothing we do will damage or alter this natural habitat. The pristine streams and rivers within the World Heritage Park are the home of the rare NZ Whio (blue duck) and will be forever changed if freshwater pests like Didymo become established.

To compete in this event you must have clean gear before you start. Please arrive with clean, dry footwear otherwise you will have to wash your shoes at registration. The Department of Conservation will have CCD cleaning equipment available.

  • All competitors must have clean dry shoes – this means they have been dry for at least 48 hours prior to the race. If not dry then please clean & soak with a 5% detergent solution for 1 minute.
  • The organisers reserve the right to implement any other Check Clean Dry precautions as they see fit.
  • We ask that you Check Clean Dry your shoes post event, prior to entering any other fresh waterway.

For more information go to

Reserve Day

If weather conditions dictate an event (prescribed or contingency) cannot be run on Saturday 7th December 2019, Sunday 8th December 2019 will be the reserve day (where either the prescribed or contingency course may be run).  If an event cannot being staged on the Saturday, nor or Sunday, or needs to be on the contingency course – NO transfers or refunds will be made.

Event Meals, Prizegiving and After Party

The Event Prizegiving will be held from 5pm at Ngāti Rangi’s Te Urunga property on the corner of Ohakune Mountain Road and Railway Row. If wet, this will be the Ruapehu School Hall. DON’T FORGET to bring the tag from the bottom of your event number to place in the prize draw bin to be eligible for spot prizes. Feel free to come dressed in our ‘Nautical’ After Party theme.

Click the banner below for details and scheduling of post-event festivities including the Prizegiving, BBQ Buffet Dinner (bookings essential) and ‘Float your Goat’ Nautical themed after party!

Event Communications

As we get closer to the event please direct queries to the following email addresses:
For entry and event transport related queries please email
For general event queries please email We will attempt to respond to all queries within 24 hours of receipt of email.

About Us

Victory Events is a sport event management company specialising in the creation and delivery of sports and recreation events in the Ruapehu region – Where Adventure Begins!

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