Entry Info

2021 Dates

We are incredibly excited The Pioneer, fuelled Nutri-Grain will be returning from 18 - 23 April 2021 to a new location in the Central North Island! 

ENTer here

Entry Fee Inclusions

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 Your entry fee includes the following services:  

  • Race entry to the six-day mountain bike stage race
  • Tent accommodation in the Pioneer Race Village for five nights. One two-man tent per rider is provided to allow for gear bag and mattress. Tented accommodation includes set-up and pack-down of tent each day
  • Some meals, including breakfast and dinner in The Pioneer Race Village
  • Awards Ceremony Dinner on the final day of racing
  • The Pioneer Race Village amenities including showers, toilets and social lounge
  • Timing, prize money and prizes
  • Daily Awards at the end of each stage
  • On-course nutrition including a recovery pack at the end of each stage
  • Daily check points on course to track all riders  
  • Transport of The Pioneer gear bag between Race Villages
  • Race medical services on-course and free on-site basic treatment in the Race Village
  • Basic mechanical services on-course and in the Race Village. Additional costs may be charged depending on what is required
  • Daily results service
  • Bike wash and security in each Race Village 
  • Marmot 105L gear bag
  • Small drawstring day bag
  • Drink bottles x 2
  • The Pioneer finisher t-shirt (must finish event)
  • The Pioneer finisher medal (must finish event)
  • Photography service (competitor photographs can be purchased after the event)


What your entry fee does not include:

  • Lunches while in the Race Villages
  • Sleeping mattress and sleeping bag - please bring your own
  • Transfers to/from Race Villages

Entry Fees

All entry fees are per person. This means team members are not guaranteed the same entry fee price as each person must register individually.

The entry price will increase once the number of available entries in that category have sold out, or by the stated closing date - whichever comes first. 


80 Riders OR
30 January - 12 March


200 Riders OR
13 March - 24 September


170 Riders OR
25 September - 7 February


500+ Riders
8 February - 8 March   
Price Price incl 3% Active Fee  Price Price incl 3% Active Fee Price Price incl 3% Active Fee Price Price incl 3% Active Fee
$2,900 $2,987 $3,150 $3,244.50 $3,400 $3,502 $3,650 $3,759.50








* All Entry Fees are in $NZD




Registration requires one team member to register first as the team captain, and the other team member to then join a team.

Step One: Team Captain Registration. When registering as the team captain, you will be required to "create a team" name and password under the Team Information heading. Once you have successfully entered as team captain, please inform your team mate of the team name and password.

Step Two: Team Member Registration. When the second rider registers, they are required to register as a team member. As part of their registration process, they will need to select "join a team" under the Team Information heading, and here they will need to search for your team by name, select the team and then enter the password.

The Team Member must register within 10 days of the Team Captain entering.  Once both successfully entered, you will be registered as a team within the registration system.

Payment Plan

We understand that making the commitment to enter The Pioneer is a big investment, so we would like to offer the following payment option that eliminates having to front up with the total entry fee all in one go! The part payment option is as follows:

  • Part payment is available for a finite period, opening 30 January 2020 and closing midnight, 31 October 2020.
  • A $1,000 NZD deposit is required upon registration. The remaining balance is required in three instalments by the dates given below. Note: all instalment payments will incur a 3% Active fee.
  • If a rider requests a refund prior to the completion of all payment instalments, upon requesting a refund, riders will be eligible for a refund of their total payments to date (in accordance with the Rider and Team Withdrawal dates given in the Entry Policies). If all entry fee payments have been made, the normal refund policy applies.
30 November 2020 Instalment 1 Due
30 December 2020 Instalment 2 Due
30 January 2021 Instalment 3 Due


30 May 2020 Instalment 1 Due
30 June 2020 Instalment 2 Due
30 July 2020 Instalment 3 Due

Add-on packages

Please note, you can book any Add-on Packages while entering, or at a later date through your MyEvents account. All packages are subject to availability. We recommend you place an order early to avoid disappointment.

More packages will be added in due course. 

Book Here

Add-on packages

Mechanical Package $500


Bike Therapy will be back in 2021. The Mechanical package provides you the opportunity to drop your bike to the Bike Therapy tent after each day of racing, where a dedicated team of mechanics will wash your bike thoroughly and give it a full service each night (this includes approximately 1 to 1.5 hours per night of dedicated attention to your bike). Through the night after your bike is washed/degreased your gears will be adjusted, brakes sorted, wheels trued, sealant checked, bolts torqued, and any other issues sorted. It is our goal that your bike will be running smoother and shifting better for the entire event.  You will be charged extra for suspension repairs (including seatposts) and any parts associated with each repair. Bookings must be made prior to 10 March 2021. 



Full Supporter Package TBC


We know some of you would love to share your Pioneer experience with your family or support team. So we have developed a package that enables them to do everything with you - except the ride! The Full Supporter package allows one friend or family member to stay with you in The Pioneer Race Village. Included in this package is breakfast (19 Apr - 23 Apr), dinner (18 Apr - 23 Apr, including the Awards Ceremony), access to all Race Village amenities, and tented accommodation (x 1 two man tent per person). Tented accommodation includes set-up and pack-down each day. Supporters must bring their own mattress and sleeping bag. No transport is provided between Race Villages.

Supporter Parking Pass FREE

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In order to park your supporter vehicle in our designated parking areas at/or near the Pioneer Race Villages you must register their vehicle with us (at no cost) and display a Pioneer PARKING PASS at all times. Please note there will only be space for the car and NO camping beside the car is available in this space. 

Supporter Catering-Only TBC


The Supporter Catering-Only package allows your supporter to join you in the Race Village for meals. Included in this package is breakfast (19 Apr - 23 Apr) and dinner (18 Apr - 23 Apr, including the Awards Ceremony) for each day in the Race Village. This is a good option if you are travelling with supporters in motorhomes.

Massage Package $250 / $300


A team of qualified masseuses will be on-site at The Pioneer Race Village. There are two Massage packages available: a 5 day package (18 - 22 Apr) for $250 and a 6 day package (18 - 23 Apr) for $300. Both packages include 1 x 25 minute appointment per day and must be pre-purchased. If you haven’t pre-purchased and there is an available appointment you may be able to make a booking on the spot or for later that evening. This can be made at the Info Desk in the Social Zone.

Laundry Service TBC


Don’t worry about going to the river to wash your kit, we'll take care of that for you! The laundry service includes a Pioneer branded washing bag for you to keep and two laundry washes during race-week on Monday 19 April and Wednesday 21 April. The drop off and collection point for all laundry will be at the Info Desk, located inside the Social Zone at the Race Village. Service must be pre-purchased.


Motorhome Parking Site $200.00


If you prefer a bit more comfort, you may wish to book a motorhome site within the Race Village. This is a great option for your supporter and includes full use of the Race Village amenities (showers, toilets and social lounge) and parking for ONE motorhome.

Please note: sites are NOT powered and each package is limited to a maximum occupancy of two supporters (in addition to any riders). Meals for supporters are NOT included in this package, however you can purchase the Supporter Catering-Only Package so they can enjoy dining with you in the Race Village. 

For those teams with motorhomes and no support person to drive the motorhome between Race Villages, we may be able to supply a driver. This must be requested by email to pioneer@ironman.com NO LATER than 10 March.

Limited bookings available.

Motorhome Accommodation TBC


The Motorhome Accommodation package includes motorhome hire and a parking site at Race Villages. There are 5, 6 or 7 night options available to fit in with your plans pre and post event. The motorhomes will be either a Frontier or Vista model (6 berth) and will include up to two drivers, comprehensive insurance, and extras if required (e.g. table, chairs, portable heater).

Booking must be made prior to July 31, after which these will be subject to pricing and availability. Max occupancy rules given in the Motorhome Parking Site package apply.

Email pioneer@ironman.com for further information on the package. 

Limited bookings available.

Pre-Race Accommodation TBC


More information coming soon...




More information coming soon... 


Awards Ceremony Dinner Ticket TBC

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For riders wishing to purchase tickets for their supporters to attend the Awards Ceremony Dinner. Please note, the 'Full Supporter' and 'Supporter Catering Only' packages include entry to the Awards Ceremony Dinner. The ceremony will be on Friday 23 April. More details to follow soon...

Conditions of Participation

The Pioneer, fuelled by Nutri-Grain is open to aspiring amateur and professional mountain bikers from around the world. Entrants must be 18 years of age as at Day 1 of the race. The race features challenging distances and terrain including lots of climbing. It is the rider’s responsibility to arrive at the event with the necessary fitness and stamina level to participate.

All riders are required to sign a waiver form when entering.

Mandatory Gear

Please note: the mandatory gear list will be reviewed during the course launch.

The mandatory gear list contains what we believe is the absolute minimum to keep you safe during the event and in New Zealand's unpredictable weather systems.

The Pioneer passes through remote trails, where protection from the elements and medical/support services could be some time/distance from riders needing assistance. It is therefore imperative that the mandatory gear is carried at all times. A gear check will be carried out initially at Rider Registration on both your Mandatory Basic Gear and your Additional Mandatory Gear. Random checks will be made at the start chute each morning and at any time during the race.

Should you need to purchase gear in Rotorua on arrival, click here to find a list of stores you could visit. 

Mandatory Basic Gear

These mandatory and extra gear requirements need to be suitable for you if you are riding or stationary due to injury or the race is stopped for any reason. Must be carried on every stage, and is subject to change up until race day:

  • A helmet
  • Beanie or buff (buff must be wool/merino)
  • Windproof jacket with sleeves (a hood is optional but recommended)
  • Tool kit – 1 per team
    • Must contain two spare tubes (if using tubeless ensure sealant is refreshed every 2 months and carry at least 1 tube as an emergency back-up), a bike pump, a multi-tool, tyre levers, patch kit and a chain breaker (that you know how to use). A speed link/spare chain link is also useful
  • First Aid kit – 1 per team
    • Including bandages, plasters, tape, gauze, whistle and two survival blankets. We also recommend carrying pain relief medication (e.g. Panadol) for headaches, sunscreen and electrolyte replacement powder (e.g. Gastrolyte) for cramps (Cramp Stop Spray is recommended), along with other medications you might need (e.g. prescription or hay fever medication).

Additional Mandatory Gear

The Additional Gear will only be used if advised by Race Organisers at the Race Briefing the night before or on the morning of each race day. This will be in cases of impending weather or climate changes.

  • Long sleeve thermal torso layer
  • Warm tights (merino or polypropylene) or leg warmers
  • Full fingered gloves
  • Waterproof jacket - with tape sealed seams including a hood and sleeves.


Entry Policies

Online entries close on 8 March 2021, unless sold out prior.


If you or your team cannot participate in the event, entry fee refunds are available in accordance with the below stated Rider and Team Withdrawal dates. After the stipulated dates, entry fees are non-refundable for withdrawals initiated by the rider. Requests for refunds must be notified to the organiser via email pioneer@ironman.com


Where eligible, please allow up to 30 days for your refund to be processed. The refund is automatically issued to the credit card originally used to pay for the registration. If this card has since been cancelled or has expired, please email pioneer@ironman.com


17 December 2020 50% of entry fee refundable for refund requests made up to this date.
15 February 2021 25% of entry fee refundable for refund requests made up to this date. No refunds for rider withdrawals after this date.


9 July 2020 50% of entry fee refundable for refund requests made up to this date.
7 September 2020 25% of entry fee refundable for refund requests made up to this date. No refunds for rider withdrawals after this date.

**For riders transferred from the original 2020 Event Date into the Rescheduled Event, all selections are final and no further refunds (unless set out above) are available. Deferrals and transfers may be made in accordance with the Transfer and Deferral Options set out below. Any additional purchases (including but not limited to) ACTIVE Fees, Photo packages or Add-On Packages paid at the time of entry are non-refundable at any time.


Riders can transfer their race entry to someone else in accordance with the below stated Person to Person Transfer dates. No transfers will be accepted after this date.

  • A transfer fee of $154.50 including all fees and taxes will be charged to the withdrawing rider.
  • All Add-On Packages are non-refundable and non-transferrable. The person purchasing the transferred entry will need to purchase new Add-On Packages at the time of the online transfer.
  • To transfer an entry to someone else, the initial registrant goes to myevents.active.com and logs in using their active.com account, finds the registration they wish to transfer and clicks the link ‘Transfer the registration to another athlete’, and then follows the necessary steps. Please note: the receiving athlete will need to pay for the entry fee in order for the transfer to process, then the original athlete will be refunded their entry fee less the $154.50 including all fees and taxes transfer fee.

**As stated in the Event Waiver, under no circumstance are you permitted to give your race plate/bib to another person. The safety of our riders is paramount, therefore we need to ensure we have correct details of all our riders on course.


31 March 2021    Person to Person transfers close for Rescheduled Event.


Riders confirmed in The Pioneer, fuelled by Nutri-Grain 2021 before 29 March 2020 are able to defer their race entry to The Pioneer, fuelled by Nutri-Grain 2022 in accordance with the below stated Deferral Cut Off Date.

  • A deferral fee of $154.50 including all fees and taxes will be charged to the deferring rider when re-registering for the event. The deferral fee charged is per-rider.
  • Under no circumstances will deferral requests will be accepted after this date.
  • Riders must have paid the entry fee in full to be eligible for a deferral.
  • All Add-On Packages are non-refundable and non-deferrable.

Riders confirmed in the race who wish to defer their entry to 2022, must do so in writing to the race office via email at pioneer@ironman.com

It is the riders responsibility to ensure the race office has received any communication. If you do not receive a response from the race office within 10 business days of request, it should be assumed that it has not been received and you should contact us by phone 09 601 9590.

Note: Once a deferral has been granted or completed the option to receive any retrospective refund or make further deferrals is no longer available.


24 September 2020    Deferral requests can be made up to this date.

Entry Categories

The Pioneer has seven different race categories, the age of the youngest team rider determines the race category: 

  1. Open Men: Both riders are male.
  2. Open Women: Both riders are female.
  3. Mixed: One rider is male and one rider is female.
  4. Masters Men (40+): Both riders are male, aged 40 years or older on 31 December of the year of the race.
  5. Masters Women (40+): Both riders are female, aged 40 years or older on 31 December of the year of the race.
  6. Grand Masters Men (50+): Both riders are male, aged 50 years or older on 31 December of the year of the race.
  7. Grand Masters Men (60+)*: Both riders are male, aged 60 years or older on 31 December of the year of the race.

* A minimum number of 5 teams will be required to enter this category to make it competitive. If this number is not reached all teams currently within the category will be rolled into the lower age category.


Daily Awards: a daily awards ceremony is held at the end of each day in the Race Village. This will include the awarding of the ‘leaders jersey’ in each age category with the fastest cumulative time for both team members after each day. In addition to this, prizes will be awarded for daily stage winners in each category.

The Final Prize giving will be held in Rotorua, prizes will be awarded to 1st, 2nd, 3rd in each age category and the below prize money will be awarded to the overall winners. 



Overall Men's Winning Team

NZD $5,000
Overall Women's Winning Team NZD $5,000
Overall Mixed Winning Team NZD $5,000


The overall winners in each age group category will be the team with the fastest cumulative time for both team members over the 6 days of racing. 

Leader Jerseys

Open Men

LeaderJersey Yellow

Open Women

LeaderJersey Orange


LeaderJersey Red

Masters Men 40+

LeaderJersey Green



Masters Women 40+

LeaderJersey Green

Grand Masters Men 50+

LeaderJersey Blue