The event was first held in 1977 as the King of the Withers and contested by male runners only. In 1992 it was opened up to female runners and renamed the King and Queen of the Withers. Originally the course started in the CBD, went into the Wither Hills and then returned to town. Increased traffic and housing developments meant several changes have had to be made to the course in 2004 and now it is run totally within the Wither Hills Farm Park area. Further innovations saw separate male, female and walkers’ events introduced in 2003, a hybrid (walk/run) section introduced in 2009, plus business house and married couples’ teams sections. In 2018 we deleted Married Couples and Business House through lack of numbers registering for these categories. A children’s race was added 2017. Children’s race was deleted from 2020 event because of lack of interest for various reasons.
Run or walk or both this popular 10k hill race in the Wither Hills farm park, Blenheim. Great views over the town across to Taylor Pass and a challenging but fun course attracts participants of all abilities, from first timers giving it a go to some of New Zealand’s top runners.
The course starts from the Rifle Range car park heading up towards the Quail stream car park on the farm track before turning right and crossing Quail stream on the small footbridge beside the car park, looping back on a track though the trees.
After a short downhill a left turn leads to a steep climb up the ridge to the rotary lookout, the course then continues on the ridge, past the twin tanks, climbing along the Taylor View Track before taking a left turn and heading downhill on the Reservoir Ridge track and then forking left down the Upper Harling Park track.
At the bottom of the Upper Harling track another left turn leads down a short hill back towards the Quail Stream car park, finally once more across the Quail Stream footbridge and downhill all the way back to the finish.