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23rd March 2024


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



Leading up to this event we will be sending out ‘pre-event’ emailers, that will give you important information. Watch this space for when you will receive them…



Entry will open 5pm on the 8th October 2023

ENTRY FEE – $100


Early Bird Entry Fee – $90 for the first 100 to enter


Purchase your Alpine Lodge Pizza and Salad lunch for $25 in the merchandise section.


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).

If you can complete a half marathon in under 2.30 hours then you can enter the Alpine Lodge Loop the Lake

If you are unsure of your suitability please email us at [email protected] and we can discuss.

Please note that all competitors compete at their own risk and the Organising Committee will accept no liability for any mishap or injury, or loss/damage to personal property during the event.

Please see Nelson Event Policies for further details.

In the event of extreme weather / Health / environmental conditions, the Organising Committee reserves the right to substitute an alternative course, postpone or if necessary, cancel the event.


Withdrawals must be received via email to [email protected]

2024 Event

Withdrawals received :-

  • Withdrawals before the 1st of February will be refunded the entry fee less a $30 admin fee,
  • between the 1st of February and 29th February will be refunded $50,
  • No entry fee refunds will be made from 1st March 2024

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


Registration - Race Pack pick up.

Race packs will be available at the Lake Rotoiti Community Hall 7.30am on Race Day. Collection closes at 8.30am.

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

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 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.

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.


Prizegiving at approximately 2.30pm (tbc) at the Alpine Lodge.
Lunch (pre-purchased) will be available from 11.30am

Prizes: 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+


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.


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

Please let us know if you have not being receiving our pre-event emailers as these will have important event information in them.


St Arnaud, Nelson Lakes, is easily accessible from both Blenheim and Nelson, a 1 1/2 hour drive on good roads. From Christchurch it is a 4-5 hour drive.


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

General Information – For more information about the Nelson Lakes area, check out the Nelson Lakes Website and/or the DOC website.

Travelling from the North Island?

Then check out the Interislander rates here >


Alpine Loop the Lake - Race Records
Age GroupNameTimeDate
Under 40 MenPhil Costley1.37.422010*
Under 40 WomenFleur Lattimore1.54.502012*
40-49 MenPhil Costley1.38.262011*
40-49 WomenCarline McDonald1.53.382004
50-59 MenMichael Morrissey1.47.382004
50-59 WomenLoris Reed2.15.562003
60+ MenNorman Carrington2.03.332005
60+ WomenMargie Peat2.32.042021

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


Our amazing sponsors

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