New Trail Running Race in Kaikoura, New Zealand

Running has always been a huge hobby of Adirondack Director Nate Hausman, so whenever a staff member catches the running bug, especially as a result of time spent doing the La Vida run or traversing the many ADK trails, he gets super excited. Nathan Landis, long-time ADK staff member, has taken this to a whole new level though by proposing to start his own ultra trail race. Keep reading to hear more about Nathan’s dreams for this race in New Zealand. 

By: Nathan Landis

I’m just now getting back to running after injuring my IT band over the summer, so it has been a long few months. While injured, I was searching for ways to stay connected to running but not in a way that made me dwell on not being able to run. The idea of a trail race in Kaikoura had been on my mind last spring but the past few months it really started to gain some more traction.

Starting about six weeks ago, I mapped out a course aimed at taking in the very best sights and trails Kaikoura can offer. It’s ending up to be about 68km (42 miles). I’ve been meeting with local business owners and town officials for the past few weeks to hear their feedback on the event proposal, and the response has been overwhelmingly positive. Everyone I’ve talked to has said that the race would be a fantastic idea and a great boost for the town.

I’m really hoping that the race can not only benefit the local community, but that it can also hopefully help runners and their families view life in a new way. Working for La Vida taught me the importance of doing things with purpose and that is definitely influencing how I’m approaching this opportunity. As I’ve been coming back from an injury myself, a word I’ve been thinking about lately is relentless–the idea of coming back to running stronger than I was before and not letting disappointments distract me from the goals I’ve set for myself. With that in mind, I’ve hit upon the tagline Live Relentlessly for the race. It not only describes the topography of the course (there are hardly more than two miles that ever stay the same!) but also a mindset I hope runners take away from their race experience.

The next step is to get official permits and consent from local government and environmental bodies to hold the race. Once those are in hand I’ll be starting to contact larger companies in search of event sponsorship. I’m also planning to start a Kickstarter campaign in a week or two where folks can donate to help cover website & promotional material costs. If all goes well, registration should open in April!

If anyone is interested in contacting me or hearing more they can do that at

Below is an aerial map of the course, two photos from the trail itself and a photo of me scouting the trail.




Nathan Landis ’15 devoted four summers serving on the ADK staff. He was a Sherpa and more recently the Property Maintenance Manager. He was also a LEAP intern in the La Vida Center his senior year at Gordon. He is now the Community Coordinator at Creation Care Study Program in New Zealand. 

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