What a day! The Goat Adventure Run 2022

The Goat 2022 - What a Day!

Waking up in the comfort of the Powderhorn Chateau directly under the awe-inspiring Mount Ruapehu, the Goat crew knew that Saturday 22nd January 2022 was going to be the Goat of all Goats, and it didn’t disappoint.

The sky was blue, the mountain was magnificent and the athletes were pumped, a mix of adrenalin and anxiety creating the perfect cocktail for a ball of energy to explode when they crossed the start line.

Busses transported participants to the start area at Whakapapa ski field where they were met with a lively crowd of fellow runners, enthusiastic crew, and excited supporters. The music was pumping, and the selfies were plentiful!

Gathering at the start line for one of the first group photos was the tribe from Orcon, presenting sponsor of The Goat 2022. Team Orcon entered a number of runners, all with their own personal goals to knock the infamous Goat off.

“It’s an iconic event that a lot of the team have been wanting to do for years, but it usually sells out” says Orcon Cheif Executive Taryn Hamilton.

“It’s Goat number two for me, but we’ve got a dozen people doing it today and some of them for the first time. It’s the second time we’ve sponsored the event, the Goat really aligns with what we pride ourselves on as an ISP; a bit out there, adventurous, and always trying to go as fast as possible.”

From 9am, literal waves of runners headed off down Bruce Road toward the Round the Mountain track.

The goals of the 550+ Goats that took to the mountain varied from finishing the course in under 2 hours, to supporting coaching clients and friends as they ran their first Goat adventure race.

Fiona Rayner The Goat 2022

First-time Goat, Fiona Rayner (left) from Christchurch started running nine years ago and 2022 was her first year running the Goat. She knew she was up for a big challenge, but took the start line positive and well-prepared, looking forward to running in such a challenging environment.

“I absolutely loved it, I had a blast. The views were spectacular and my favourite part was the scramble up the waterfall, the supporters were absolutely amazing. I can’t wait to come back and do it again next year. I’m officially a Goat!”

The Goat course is varied, throwing a number of different challenges at participants. From the 2km start down Bruce Road onto the unformed tracks complete with rough scoria stones and stream crossings, all requiring full concentration working not only the body but the mind as well.

Kerry Suter of Squadrun describes the course as being full of surprises the whole way through.

“As if runners haven’t been challenged enough, eventually they will find themselves at the bottom of the real climb, the last 3km of the event. Putting their best mountain goat impersonations to the test, runners will scale up a bare slab of rock on the side of the ** Falls, then not long after they will meet the road again,” Kerry describes. “But it’s not over yet.”

Enter ‘Mama’s Mile’: the 20 or so minute climb to the finish line at Turoa Ski Field where family and friends of participants were eagerly awaiting the arrival of their fit and fabulous loved ones. It’s never been an actual ‘mile’ distance, but it’s certainly had people crying for their mamas as they make the final climb to the finish.

The final 1400 metres includes a 550m section on Ohakune Mountain Road, followed by the final 850m off-road directly onto the Turoa Plaza. It was evident that the Goat had taken it all out of its victims … I mean, runners. Without the cheers of support, and strategically placed photographers, many of the finishers would have gladly strolled the final meters to cross the line. But the majority dug in for a strong finish, forging their place on the mountain as Tongariro Goats.

Finishing first overall, was Ryan Carr (right), a shepherd and now competitive trail runner based in Southland. Remember earlier when we talked about the person who wanted to come in under 2 hours? That was Ryan! Unfortunately for him, (although phenomenally to the rest of us) Ryan crossed the finish at 2:02:18 – a huge effort on a hot summer’s day.

Ryan Carr - The Goat 2022 Champion

An impressive finish time of 2:37:48 saw the first woman finisher Maia Flint (left) smash through the ribbon into Turoa Plaza.

“I loved the waterfall, I know it’s probably most people’s worst nightmare. I love striding up the waterfall and you know you’re close,” says Maia. “The thing I love about the goat is there’s lots of character to this event. There are lots of trail events around but the atmosphere and how everything’s goat-themed; people come to this event over and over again because it’s kind of like a little special culture.”

Full results can be found at https://my.raceresult.com/189486/results

Kip Mather from the Bay of Plenty who came in mid-pack felt the burn on the volcanic terrain: “Deep in that pain cave going up the waterfall climb! Hardest event I’ve done to date, but so epic, and crossing that finish after the Mamma’s Mile climb felt so good! Thanks to the organisers and volunteers. Everyone was so friendly and encouraging and it created a great event!”

Finishers were impressed by the professionally run event which included free Steigen running socks, a goat sausage thanks to Blue Duck Station and Basecamp Katikati, and a beer from long-standing sponsors, Lakeman Brewing.

Prizegiving was also a hit, with giveaways and merit prizes from sponsors Orcon, True Fleece, Goat Soap, Lakeman Brewing, Triumph & Disaster, Lone Goat Vineyard, Steigen Socks, La Sportiva, Raidlight, Leki, Fenix, and the home of the Goat, the Powderhorn Chateau.

The Goat Tongariro owner, Jason Cameron (below) of Victory Events couldn’t have been happier with the 18th Goat event.

“The Goat is a bucket list event for kiwi trail runners who want the ultimate challenge,” says Jason. “There’s just something about it that draws people in and today we recognised many familiar faces, but also a whole lot of first-timers as well which we love to see. It was a hot day, and that was challenging for many, but we had a great crew of marshals on the course who took great care of everyone.”

“Being able to host this event in the Tongariro National Park, on majestic Mount Ruapehu is an honour and a privilege, and I give special thanks to Iwi: Ngati Hikairo, Ngati Uenuku and Ngati Rangi, as well as Visit Ruapehu – Our Greater Outdoors, and the Department of Conservation. We can’t wait to deliver this event again on Saturday 21st January 2023!”

Jason Cameron - Victory Events