... To the 40th anniversary of the Southern Hemisphere's longest running mountain bike event!  Based in Wellington's rugged Akatarawa Ranges, 10k north of Upper Hutt City, the Karapoti Classic is New Zealand's premier mountain bike event.

The 20k Challenge is a great introduction to this old-school adventure ride. It's a more achievable challenge than the 50k, but with the same superb scenery and awesome social scene. Perfect for rookies, schools and fit families. Finishers range from 1-2hrs.

Established in 1986, this is NZ's original mountain bike race and the one race on every mountain biker's wish list. But entries are limited to 300 riders... so Enter Here Now.

Enter Here

Course Info

Race Info

20k Categories

All 20k participants start together, but race for awards in their chosen categories.

Age Groups

Your chance to race your friends, family, mates, gender and age group. All entrants except Special Categories below should select "Age Group" when they enter.

The 20k Challenge will have age group divisions for men and women, as per the following:

Open - Men & Women Overall
14-18 Years Men & Women
40+ Years - Men & Women
under 14 Years - Boys & Girls

  • Age groups are allocated automatically via date of birth and age on race day.
  • Prizes will be awarded to the first three male and female in each age group.
  • Entries from riders aged less than 10 years are at the race directors discretion.

The Special Categories

All 20k participants start together, but mtn bike underground enthusiasts - Single Speed, Uni-Cycles, Retro, Cyclo Cross, Fat Bikes and Tandems - race for awards in their own categories.

  • Special categories are not eligible for age group categories above, but are eligible for the team categories below.
  • Entries from riders aged less than 10 years are at the race directors discretion.

Single Speed:  Something for the minimalists !

Uni-Cycles:  We dare you one-wheel wonders to take on the 20k!

Retro:  For lovers of bikes from back-in-the-day. No suspension, no clip-in pedals, no disc brakes, no carbon. Old-school clothing also encouraged.

Cyclo-Cross/Gravel Bikes:  A taste of Euro for followers of cycling's latest cult craze. Cyclo-cross/Gravel bikes must have drop bars, no suspension and max tyre width of 45mm.

Tandem:  Try your hand on a tandem or introduce your kids to Karapoti on a trailer bike. A Tandem pays one entry fee. Enter on one entry form, putting one rider as first name and the second rider as surname. Trailer bikes are ok.

Fat Bikes:  Get out the big tyres for a cushie Karapoti. Must be a genuine fat bike with minimum 3.7" tyres.

E-Bikes:  A recreational category for the 20k Challenge only. Open only to factory built e-mtn bikes that meet the following criteria: Pedal-assist motors only; minimum 250w drive motor; maximum speed assistance of 32k/hr; minimum battery size of 250watt-hour. Bikes must not have any aftermarket electric modification, conversion kit, bike hacks, throttle control or hub-motor. This category is aimed solely at participation with no prizes, but you will be timed officially and recorded in results. Participants should avoid getting motors wet at river crossings, but you must start and finish with the river crossings just like all participants.


The 20k team categories tally the results of three or more entrants from the same club or work place or family. Riders who want to be included in a team should enter the 20k normally and select a team category and team name.

Team categories in the 20k are as per following:

Open Teams:  Whether you're a bunch of mates, a cycle club, an elite team, a bike shop, a cycle importer, a frame builder or a house builder, teams of three or more riders can win rider prizes plus bragging rights amongst the cycling community.

Family Teams:  Something for families that play together. Whether siblings, in-laws, husbands, wives, aunts, uncles, cousins and children, teams of three or more win rider prizes and something to tell the grandkids.

Corporate Teams:  Cane your corporate competitor! Teams of three or more can win rider prizes plus bragging rights in the business community. But team members must be employed by the business they are entering with.

School Teams:  Get your school-mates together and challenge other school in your area. Teams of three or more can win rider prizes plus bragging rights. But team members must all be enrolled at the same school.

Off Beat Awards

Best-Dressed:  A Karapoti favourite and a chance for riders in any race to stand out. Past winners have included Darth Vader, fairies, Superman, Batman, devils, medieval warriors and wedding nuptials. The best dressed rider wins Ground Effect riding apparel.

Worst Luck:  A Karapoti favourite and a chance for riders from any race to stand out with their tall tale of the race that got away. Could be a crash, could be major mechanicals. In 2010 Wellington's Chris Henry won with 15 punctures, then won again in 2011 with a spectacular crash !

Youngest Rider:  The youngest rider within the 20k wins a prize on stage! 20k entries from riders aged less than 10 years are at the race directors discretion.

Oldest Rider:  The eldest rider within the 20k win a prize on stage, so don't let age get in your way!