HOW DID WE GET HERE?
In the summer of 2018 the creators of The WILD, Mal & Sally Law, fastpacked Colorado’s legendary Hardrock100 course with two-times winner, Anna Frost and a couple of other friends. That experience left a deep impression on the pair and they returned to New Zealand asking themselves “why isn’t there an event like this back here when we have such glorious big mountains and wild places that are the envy of much of the world?”
The simple fact was that no such “pure journey” (to use Mal’s words) was offered by any of the few 100 mile foot races that are staged in Aoteaora. Nothing that presented the brave and adventurous mountain runner with the opportunity to travel a long, natural loop through epic mountains. Nothing that could stand alongside the likes of the Hardrock100 as a talismanic achievement for all who could complete it. So they figured “let’s create it”… the idea for The WILD was born.
Creating a Classic
Over the next 2-3 years much time was spent pouring over maps, doing long recce runs, getting input from friends, consulting with landowners and figuring out how to turn this wild dream into a reality. By mid-2020, with everything else falling into place, there was just one big piece of the jigsaw left to put in place – an experienced, professional events company that could bring their logistical and operational know-how to the party. Fortunately, Fusion Events, organisers of the Ultra NZ series, didn’t need to be asked twice. With their expertise added to the original vision it was now all possible… The WILD became a reality.
Three Epic Journeys
While the original focus was very much on creating a world-class, super-tough, 100 mile race, we knew we’d also need to offer shorter options in order to make the event viable. Besides, the terrain on offer is too good not to be shared with as wide a base of mountain-loving runners as possible. That said, we wanted all race options to remain true to the original vision – to be a “pure journey” – a loop through epic mountains. So, after much more dreaming and scheming we settled on the 3 course options that will make up the inaugural edition of The WILD in December 2022:
The 100 mile course – for diehard badass mountain runners with a masochistic streak who accept that a DNF is every bit as likely as finish line glory.
The 50 mile course – for experienced mountain runners looking for an epic but achievable challenge; a mountain journey to savour for a lifetime.
The 20 mile course – for pretty much anyone with a bit of mountain running experience, whether they are looking for a step up from easier marathon-type races or looking to smash out a fast time without writing themselves off for weeks!