26km Trail Run/Walk

Sponsored by

Dunedin’s Iconic Trail Race

The iconic 3 Peaks began in 1984 as a point to point race and has been run every year since. There have been a few tweaks to the course over the years as landowners have changed and permission has been granted or withdrawn. The current route was established in 2020 and runs entirely on public property using trails that are open all year round.

See below for course description.

Compulsory Gear List

The compulsory gear list is here for your protection and safety. The following items MUST be carried. You may want to carry more.

  • Rain jacket – it must be seam-sealed waterproof.
  • Merino or thermal long sleeve top.
  • Warm gloves.
  • Warm beanie or buff (Multifunctional head-wear).
  • Own snacks, energy bars, Tailwind Nutrition etc.
  • Water bottles/bladders (there will be no cups available at water stations).
  • Phone (optional but strongly recommended).
  • Gear checks will be carried out at registration.

Cut Off Times

Walkers are welcome  to walk the 3 Peaks 26km course but please note the following cut off times will be enforced. If you don’t leave the Aid Station in time you will be withdrawn from the race. Transport will be provided to assist you to the race finish.

  • 1:00pm at Swampy Summit Aid Station
  • 2:00pm at Leith Valley Rd Aid Station
  • 3:40pm at Mt Cargill Aid Station

Gear Drops

Clothing can be left at start line at Woodhaugh Gardens, they will be taken to the finish line at the Leith Harrier Club Rooms at Chingford Park for your collection.

The Back in Motion King and Queen of the Mountain

This involves a cash prize for the first man and first woman to the Swampy Summit who then go on to finish the 26km running race. Sponsored by Back in Motion Physiotherapy and Pilates.

Aid & Water Stations, Toilets

Water, Tailwind Nutrition and snacks will be available at the following aid stations but there will be no cups. Bring your own cup or bottle.

  1. Flagstaff (water only)
  2. Swampy (CP)
  3. Leith Valley
  4. Mt. Cargill (CP)

Portaloos will be available at the start and at Swampy Summit and Leith Valley Aid Stations.

Race Rules

The course will be well marked with marshals at aid stations and key intersections.

  • Registration and gear checks are on Saturday afternoon (March 29th) at Chingford Park between 2pm and 6pm..
  • While checking-in, every competitor must get their essential gear checked. All essential gear must be carried at all times. It can get very cold very quickly on these hills. 
  • Always listen to the advice of marshals. They are there for your safety. Also be polite and say thanks. They are wonderful people who have volunteered their time for your pain and pleasure.
  • If you pull out for any reason you must report to officials at the finish line. Otherwise our wonderful volunteer marshals will be waiting and looking for you all day and night.
  • Please don’t drop any rubbish and if you see any that may have been dropped by another runner please pick it up.
  • All tracks are open so please be respectful of other track users.
  • All roads are open. Please be alert and keep to the sides.
  • Avoid headphones/earbuds use during the race. There’s lots of native birdsong to enjoy. You will be required to remove them for road sections.
  • Race numbers are to be visible at all checkpoints.
  • If you come across another competitor in trouble stay with them until you know they are safe.
  • No dogs are to accompany runners.
  • The course will be very well marked. Here is a downloadable gpx file for use on your phone or watch if you wish.

Course Description

This is a 26km endurance event finishing at Chingford Park. 

Gather for the race in the middle of Woodhaugh Gardens before the briefing at 8:40am. You will then walk to the race start on Woodhaugh Street at 9:00am.

Follow the marshals off Malvern Rd onto the beautiful groomed trails and native bush of the Ross Creek Reserve. Past the reservoir take a right turn and the track gets a little less groomed and steep up into Craigieburn. Cross the road at the intersection of Tanner Rd and Wakari Rd and then it’s onto the Pineapple Track that goes up… and up… and up to Flagstaff Summit. There’s a little double back to get onto the Swampy Ridge Track that undulates with a bit of mud tussock and rock to hop along and up to Swampy Summit Aid Station.

Follow a bit of the Leith Saddle track down the hill and then through the flax chute through to the Pylon 4WD, turn left and you can fly down this bit until the end where you enter the Morrisons Burn Track. This has some steep muddy downhill sections – enjoy gravity and the trees to catch hold of. It’s not long then you are on a forestry access road that leads you on to Leith Valley.

Only one more mountain to climb! Run 1.8km up Leith Valley Rd to the Aid Station just over the overhead bridge. A right turn there takes into a beautiful little track that leads into Mt Cargill forest tracks and 4WD roads. Follow the markers and you will come up on to Cowan Road. Turn left and carry on up to the summit of Mount Cargill and the last aid station.

From Mt Cargill summit you get to enjoy gravity once again with a 4km descent down some single track to Bethune’s Gully. There’s only about 2 km on the flat after this so you may as well completely destroy whatever remains of your quads on this descent. Follow the road out onto Norwood Street. Run down Norwood for about 1km then turn right into Tannadice St and left into Dryden St, over the footbridge and into Chingford Park for the sprint finish across the sports ground to the sounds of hearty cheers!

Well done! You deserve a medal!

Woodhaugh Map

Course Map and Elevation Profile