Alpine Lodge Loop the Lake

Sat, 18/04/2020 Saturday 18th April 2020

The Event

During the 1840’s when settlers were establishing themselves in Nelson and Blenheim, notable explorers such as Thomas Brunner, William Fox, Charles Heaphy and J.S.Spooner were pushing deep into the south-east of Nelson Province.

John Silvanus Cotterell of the New Zealand Company was surveying a route between Nelson and the Wairau Valley when from Tophouse he noticed a gap in the mountains to the south-west.

It was not until 1843, however when exploring the upper reaches of the Motueka and Motupiko Valleys that he came upon a lake reported by Maori to be in the area, which is now named Rotoiti … previously Rotu iti and Arthur.

Nelson Events began looping the lake back in 1996.

Now it’s your turn to discover (or rediscover) one of our jewels as you run around New Zealand’s best alpine lakeland circuit.

The course is an anticlockwise circuit of Lake Rotoiti commencing from the Lake Rotoiti waterfront. Approximately 25km.

The Alpine Lodge Loop the Lake like the Abel Tasman Coastal Classic and Captain Cook's Landing events is conducted through a concession contract with the Department of Conservation, and is limited to 400* competitors to minimise impact on the trail.

Annually the field usually sells out as the reputation of this track and its location, the Nelson Lakes National Park is somewhat renowned. The experience is alpine and bush trail with the possibility that participants will experience all alpine weather conditions during the event - yes, it has snowed before! Brrrrrr!

This one, is a fantastic introduction to trail running - many runners have had their first taste of off road running by completing this one.

For more information about the Nelson Lakes area, check out the Department of Conservation website and/or the Nelson Lakes web site



Entry to the 2020 event will open mid September 2019

Limited to 400 entries (please note that owing to environmental and safety considerations the Department of Conservation has placed a limit of 400 competitors for this event).
Entries received after the limit is reached will be placed on a first come waiting list, and processed as accepted.  Please email us to find out how to place yourself on this wait list.

All competitors must be a minimum of 16 years of age to enter this event (unless prior agreement given from Race Director).

ENTRY FEE IS $99 and includes Lunch

Entry requirement
If you can complete a half marathon in under 2.45 hours then you can enter the Alpine Lodge Loop the Lake

Trailwalkers: - if you can meet the above requirement, then you can enter this event (there is no separate category for Trailwalkers, so you can run when you feel like it!).

Terms and Conditions of Entry

The full terms and conditions and race rules are on our policies page here


The course is an anticlockwise circuit of Lake Rotoiti commencing from the Lake Rotoiti lakefront.Distance is approximately 24km.

Pre-Event Emailers

Pre- Event Emailers will be sent out approximately one a month to your elected entry email address.

The emailers are designed to give you information, keep you focused and will contain, need to know details of the event day.

Withdrawal Policy

By 20th February refunded in full less $30 admin fee.

By 20th March you will be refunded $50 of entry fee.

No entry fee refunds will be made after March 20th 2020.

Please note entries cannot be transferred to other competitors, other events or future editions of this event.


This is a trail run, therefore it is important that you encompass training on uneven terrain to prepare appropriately and to also familiarise yourself with the process of following trail/track markers.

Check out our training tips and programmes on the sign post on the right




Registration - Race Pack pick up.

Race packs will be available at the Lake Rotoiti Community Hall from 7.30am on Race Day.  Collection closes at 8.15am.

Compulsory clothing/gear will be inspected at check in and then random gear checks thereafter.

The Lake Rotoiti Community Hall is opposite the Lake Rotoiti School on the Main Road, St Arnaud - see map below (circled in black)

Start Time

Start 9.15am

Compulsory clothing/gear will be inspected at check in and then random gear checks thereafter.

Event Briefing

This is compulsory and will take place on the Lake Rotoiti lakefront 15 minutes prior to start.


All competitors must carry the following minimum equipment on them at all times to cover all possible weather conditions:
* Polypropylene, or equivalent (eg woollen), top, hat and gloves
* Windproof parka/jacket
* Whistle
* Survival blanket

Please note that your gear must include a long sleeved garment.

You will have a gear check prior to the start and there are also gear checks on route.
No Gear - No Start (simple as that).

Please ensure your race number is visible on your CHEST (on your FRONT) at all times - there are a number of checkpoints that you will pass through on the track. It is imperative that your number is recorded at each of these checkpoints.  If a crew member cannot see your race number, they have the authority to stop you from continuing until this is in full view.

Race number must be worn on your front and be clearly visible at all times.

Competitors must not deviate from the track and must cross the Travers River where directed by marshals.

Please note that for safety reasons use of ipod, mp3 player, Walkman or similar is not permitted. Enjoy the surroundings of the Nelson Lakes National Park - the sounds are worth listening to as you enjoy your event.


In the event of extreme weather conditions the organising committee reserves the right to set an alternative course or to cancel the event.   This decision would be made on the morning of the event, and notification made at Event HQ (the Lake Rotoiti Community Hall).
If river levels deemed too high to cross, a decision will be made by the Event Director as to an out and back option.


All food/supplement wrappers etc must be numbered to comply with the track's pack-in pack-out rubbish policy.


Competitors are advised to carry their own. 

Water packs can be refilled at the head of the lake from natural sources at competitor's risk, check the DOC website for up to date information on water quality.  There are no water stations on the course.


Those who suffer adverse effects from bee/wasp stings etc are reminded to carry appropriate medication and advise the organisers.

Emergency medication to be carried by the competitor at all times. 

Any medical conditions should be advised in writing at entry point, noted on your Event Registration Certificate, and also noted on the back of your race number (marker pens are available at Event Registration for this purpose).


Prizegiving at approximately 2.30pm (tbc) at the Alpine Lodge.
Lunch available for pick up from 11.30am


Performance and spot prizes will be awarded in all age groups.
(First only - less than 7 entries, 2nd - less than 10, 3rd - with 10 or more)
Runners - Under 40, 40-49, 50-59, 60+


After collecting your race pack, we recommend you park down by the waterfront.


This is where the St Arnaud track ends - at the carpark by the Lake (camping area). Water and hot drinks will be available from our Strider Hands at the finish.


There are toilets for pre-race at the St Arnaud Community Hall (Race pack pick up), and at Kerr Bay (pre-start). Toilets on the course are at Lakehead Hut and Coldwater Hut. 

Track Etiquette

We ask that you kindly please respect other track users.

When passing a slower runner or other track user, please call 'passing' and pass on the lake side of the track, ie, the slower competitor to step to the inside/landward side of the track.

Please note that neither the organisers, the sponsors, nor any other party associated with this event shall have any responsibility, financial or otherwise, arising out of negligence or otherwise for any direct or indirect loss, injury or death which might be sustained by yourself from your intended or actual participation in this event or its related activities. You are entering this event entirely at your own risk.

Merchandise - must be pre-booked a limited stock will be available on the day

Event T-Shirt (S, M, L, XL, XXL or 8, 10, 12, 14, 16, 18) $35
Men (Round Neck) Women (V Neck)

Event Trucker Cap $25

Event Beanie - $25

Survival Compact First Aid Kit - $20 - 150x90x25mm, 80gm, in a ziplock bag, contains alcohol wipes, antiseptic wipes, content list, non-adherent dressing (sm), plasters (washable), plaster fabric strip 100mm, safety pins, survival blanket with instructions, tri-angular bandage, incld whistle

please email us for a sizing charts and orders

Race Records

*The course changed in 2009 whereby the start was moved to the lakefront, prior to this, the start was outside the DOC Centre.

Men       Women      
Phil Costley
Fleur Lattimore 1.54.50
Phil Costley 1.38.26 2011*
Carline McDonald
Michael Morrissey
Loris Reed
Norman Carrington
Yvonne West 2.46.21 2013







Training Plans based on a 30k Off Road Distance

This is a trail run, therefore it is important that you incorporate off road running into your training.

Beginner's Ten Week Training Plan - Martin Lukes

Intermediate Level Ten Week Training Plan

Advanced Level Ten Week Training Plan - Martin Lukes

Travel & Accommodation

How to get there:
St Arnaud, Nelson Lakes, is easily accessible from both Blenheim and Nelson.
It is a 1 1/2 hour drive on good roads.
It is a 4-5 hour drive from Christchurch.



Alpine Lodge

Naturally we recommend you support our principal sponsor The Alpine Lodge if you require accommodation.
See their Website
Phone/Fax (03) 521 1869 or Freephone 0800 367 777 to discuss their affordable options.



General Information
For more information about the Nelson Lakes area, check out the Nelson Lakes Website

and/or the DOC website

Is the race suitable for first-time trail runners?
What about more experienced trail runners?
Are there water stations on the course?

Is the race suitable for first-time trail runners?

Yes it is. The track is undulating with intriguing variations in terrain that will keep you thinking for all 26kms. One thing we are not into is distance markers.  As it is a trail run, it means there is no white line to follow, and therefore you need to keep watch of track signs and markings to stay on the marked track.

What about more experienced trail runners?

Loop the Lake has plenty of opportunities for experienced trail runners to test their mettle or push for a personal best, better still a place on the race record table.

Are there water stations on the course?

There is no provision for a water station on the course, however at the head of the lake there is a free flowing stream, it is at your own risk and it is advisable to check with DOC as to the water quality closer to the event date. There will be water and fresh fruit at the finish.  We recommend you carry a water bottle / camelbak with you.

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