The Event

What does the entry fee include? 

Click here to see the full list of entry inclusions for the 7 Day Epic.

Is transport from Christchurch to Geraldine part of the race package?

Yes, this is provided for all Pioneer 7 Day Epic participants.

Can you tell me what is involved with the Teams Event - do both riders do the whole course or is it half each for each stage?

Both team riders cover the whole stage, and therefore the entire course together as a team. We require you to be within eyesight and ear shot of each other at all times – no more than a maximum of 2 minutes apart.

What assurance is there for entrants if the event does not happen (eg: due to lack of entries)?

This event will definitely be going ahead in Year Two. The event has significant financial support from NZ Major Events, Christchurch Council and Queenstown Lakes District Council. We are committed to developing this into one of NZ’s iconic annual events.

Can you let me know the policy if you cancel the event (eg: for bad weather). I understand what happens if I pull out, but wanted to know if you will be providing full or partial refunds if you have to cancel?

As outlined in our terms and conditions “I acknowledge that the Event Organiser maybe required to cancel or postpone the Event due to weather conditions, natural disaster, “acts of God”, terrorism, war or any other reason as determined by the Event Organiser, and that my entry fee will be not be refunded should cancellation or postponement occur.”

Is it possible to change the team name after entering (while keeping the same riders)?

Yes absolutely! Just jump into your teams Active profile and make that change. It will need to be finalised by 19 January 2017 when entries close however as we’ll be getting all sorts of team related things printed and ordered. 

I am keen to race your race, but am really wanting to enter as a solo competitor. What do you think? Are there any other options? 

We don’t have a solo category for the 7-Day Epic. If you are struggling to find a team mate we have a ‘Find a Team Mate’ section on the website so get your info up there, and find a new mate to ride with you.

Do competitors need a support team?

You don’t ‘need’ a support team…but you may enjoy some support along the way! We have lots of options for Supporters. Check out the Supporter Pack options here. We also have lots of on course and Race Village support for you – check out Rider Support for the info.

Is it compulsory for participants to stay in the Race Village? I understand this is part of the package but I have contacts in several of the support towns and would opt to stay with them, although would have dinner etc. in the Village.

No it is not compulsory to stay in the Race Village. If you are able to get yourself to and from the Race Village for the meals you wish to enjoy, the race start times and the daily awards and race briefings then you are welcome to stay outside of the Village. 

Will you be catering for different dietary requirements?

Yes we have a catering company that is fully versed in all dietary needs and requirements. We ask you to give detail of your requirements when your enter which we will then communicate to the caterer. We do also suggest you have some of your own snacks on hand should you require more than what we can offer to suit your dietary restrictions.

I noted that a recovery pack is provided after each section of the race. I am wondering if nutrition is provided for lunch/during the ride or if this is to be supplied by each rider themselves?

On course, we will provide some on-course nutrition, however it will not be ‘lunch’ per se. We will provide things like pretzels, lollies, muesli bars cut up, bananas and the opportunity to refill bottles/ hydration packs at points on course, but it won’t be a full lunch. Athletes should carry their own nutritional requirements. The recovery bag for example will include: a muffin and piece of fruit (or similar).

Where in Christchurch is the registration, Welcome Dinner and prologue start?

In Christchurch the race registration, Welcome and Opening Party is all located in the Pioneer Race Village.

The prologue start line is located in the Christchurch Adventure Park.

Will the race villages be situated in the towns, so we can utilise Bed and Breakfast accommodation for some nights rather than camp?

In most instances yes the race villages will be near, or near enough, to the main towns. However, this is NOT the case in Lake Ohau, Hawea and Snow Farm where accommodation will be more challenging if not utilising the Race Villages. 

 Will it be necessary to carry a camera on the ride, or will there be “professional" photographers out on the trail taking care of that side of things?

We will have an official photographer out on course and around the start and finish chutes. Plenty of opportunity for great shots of the action!
However, the scenery will be breathtaking, so you may want your own pics as well.


What size is the Gear Bag?

A Marmot Duffle Bag. Size: 110L.

What kind of bike do you recommend? 

Advice from our course advisory team, who have been out there riding the course: “After riding the course I think the ideal bike for me would be a full suspension 100mm travel 29er as a first choice, then a 27.5 as a second choice. Both of these would be very similar but the 29er will be slightly more suited for the terrain. Ideally it would be carbon for weight saving and more forgiving on the body.

If you are considering a Titanium hard tail (or similar) remember you are out on course for multiple hours/days and that it is very taxing on the body. Although you may feel good for the first couple of days, fatigue will set in and the benefit of the weight saving and speed may no longer be apparent.

In terms of Gearing, if you are confident and relatively strong, then a 1 x 11 will be manageable (see below for ratio suggestions). Alternatively, if you are not so confident with the duration and climbing, then a 2 x 10 would be a optimal choice. And keep in mind that the days are long and there is plenty of ascent to deal with. It is important to remember that this is a multi-day event so be smart about what you can achieve over the duration”

Our course advisory team’s suggestions:
- 29er 1 x 11 - suggest a 30t and 32t front chain ring
- 27.5 1 x 11 - suggest a 32t and a 34t front chain ring

Will I need a lot of specialist gear and equipment?

The best investment you will make in any piece of equipment is the time you put into using it and we wholeheartedly recommend that you get outside and test all of your equipment well before race time!  
We have recently updated our website with the gear lists - check it out here.

If it’s not raining on the day or the weather is good, will we still need to carry additional waterproof jackets?

Daily stage briefings will provide information about which kit is required for that particular day and stage, and whether the emergency kit is required in addition to the standard kit, or not. All athletes need to be prepared right up to the start of the race.

As for the base torso layer, I will start all days wearing one.  Am I required to carry a spare as well as a thermal one?

We will have updates every evening as to what to expect for the next day’s weather. It is not mandatory to take a spare with you, but we do encourage your consideration of the alpine region and the swift weather changes that can occur.

We have recently updated our website with the gear lists - check it out here.

Can I wear a Buff instead of a warm hat?

No, the climate in the Southern Alps is very changeable and a warm hat is part of the mandatory gear.  

Can we change bikes during the race should the gearing on one bike not prove suitable for a particular stage? 

Yes as long as that bike is still within the race rules.

Will my bike box be transported for me to Queenstown?

Yes this is included as part of your entry. We will take all of your gear through to Queenstown including luggage and spare gear. 


Do you have any general training program advice for this event?

Yes, Complete Performance are The Pioneer Official Training Partner. Complete Performance are based in Christchurch are an endurance sports coaching assisting athletes from throughout New Zealand with training and event preparation.

Click here for a generic training program.

If you are interested in more specific training advice, Richard and his team can tailor training plans to suit you and give you all sorts of valuable insights into how to best train and prepare for this race.

Richard Greer
Managing Director
Complete Performance

Phone: 0800 551 002
021 051 0071

The Course

What is the course like? Single track/4WD track etc?

Please see full course details here for the 7 Day Epic.

Is there a course cut off time? What is it?

Please see the course cut off times here

If as a team we don’t make the course cut off time, can we still complete the race?

Yes you can complete the remaining stages. However you will not be eligible for prize money or prizes. For that particular stage you will receive a DNF, however you will still receive a cumulative time for the 7 day event. You will not be considered an official race finisher and results will be displayed separately.

If we don’t complete a stage, are we still considered a race finisher?

You will not be an official race finisher, and therefore will not receive the official race finisher jersey or finisher medal. 

If my team mate has to pull out for injury, can I continue to ride?

Yes you will be allowed to continue and complete the remaining stages. However you will not be eligible for prize money or prizes.

What device did you use to measure the elevation metres?

The statistics have been confirmed via a collection of data from a combination of GPS devices while riding the course, plus online software; GPS Visualizer and Geoncontext Profiler.

This looks awesome but wondering how "doable" it is for the weekend warrior, full time job, kids etc. Is it aimed at people like me or is it more for the elite. I'm a capable mountain biker, not fast but not afraid of a few hours in the saddle. 

Complete Performance, our official training partner, will the best team to speak to in regard to this. However the event is not aimed solely at elite athletes. With just over four months to go, anyone with a good base level of fitness can build up to this event. If you can dedicate between 8-15 hours a week you can do this. It’s all about belief in yourself.