About Mountain to Surf

How it begun…

The story goes that in early 1979 Barry Dravitzki uttered the words “why not?” to his brother Gerald when discussing an idea that had been floated in respect to the New Plymouth Harrier Club starting a marathon. After much head scratching around the lack of flat road running in North Taranaki and being determined to avoid a slow course the idea of a ‘Boston type’ point to point course that began higher up and ran over a number of undulations before finishing somewhere near sea level evolved. After a huge effort by year’s end, a course designed by runners for runners was set, organizing committee formed, sponsor found and it was all go for the inaugural 1980 event.
From day one, the ‘Mountain to Surf’ theme caught the imagination of runners (and walkers) as it offered the opportunity to record a ‘PB’ over arguably one of, if not the fastest marathon course in the country. However a ‘PB’ was far from a given, as the course has a bite with its early elevation loss and undulations further on. Arrive at the start line light on training and as some will testify, consequences may await!

1980 winners

  • Men: Gerald DRAVITZKI 02:16:29
  • Women: Alison KROON 03:09:49


Where the event is at today…

Thirty-seven events on, the iconic ‘Mountain to Surf’ is now a long established sporting fixture in Taranaki, with wonderful community support and sponsorship in all its various forms. The event boasts a proud and colourful history, stories of conquest (and occasionally despair) abound from those who have taken up the challenge be they from New Plymouth, Auckland, Opotiki, Sweden, San Francisco or Capetown.

2017 saw a new course layout with the event finishing at East End Reserve, Nobs Line, New Plymouth. As a result of the change in course new records have been set.

Current record holders (Egmont National Park to East End Reserve – 2017)

  • Men: Gene RAND 02:42:55 (set in 2017)
  • Women: Louise KOWALESKI 03:06:51 (set in 1992)

Record holders (Egmont National Park to Marine Park, Waitara – 1980 to 2016)

  • Men: Matt DRAVITZKI 02:13:02 (set in 2006)
  • Women: Bernie PORTENSKI 02:34:39 (set in 1992)