Cross Country & Road


Athletics Auckland Cross Country & Road

 Guide to Cross Country and Road

Athletics Auckland hosts a series of inter-club Cross Country and Road racing events throughout the winter (April – September) for all age grades – Juniors to Masters. These events are held across Auckland and generally before the NZ National Championships.

Many of our past legends (including Peter Snell, Murray Halberg, Jeff Julian, Dave Sirl, Martin Simmons, Kevin Ryan, Rex Maddaford) used cross country to develop strength to set themselves up for road and track later in the year.

Consider joining a club and you can run as a team, train as a team and learn from each other, building up friendships and rivalries through the winter.

This year the first race on our Auckland calendar will be the Auckland Half Marathon Championship on 7th April, followed by the Southland Centennial Relays hosted by ACA on Saturday 13th April 2024.

This year the format of some of the races has changed slightly, but it promises to be an exciting season for both young and old.  The 2024 season will be built on the basis of the previous Grand Prix series, but this year we will be running three competition formats:

  • Senior Winter League – for athletes U18 and up
  • Junior Winter Relays League – team event for athletes U8 to U16
  • Junior Grand Prix Series – individual event for athletes U8 to U16

Running complements all other winter sports as it improves your fitness levels. So why not give Cross Country and Road a go this year? Who knows, you might just love it!

Senior Winter League

The Senior Winter League is something new we are introducing in 2024. Entries to the league races are open to all runners aged U18 and above.

There are 4 age categories in this league – for both male and female:

U18 / U20 Seniors Junior Masters 35 – 49 Senior Masters 50 +
Male Female Male Female Male Female Male Female

Points are allocated at each event. For the U18/U20’s the Top 2 runners of each grade contribute to the overall team points. For all other categories the Top 4 runners of each club will contribute to the team points.

All athletes are encouraged to participate! Each athlete participating makes a difference to the results, no matter your running ability.

Team points are picked up as you compete and there are overall league tables for team performances per age category and gender across the whole series.

At the end of the season awards are given to the teams with the most combined points scored throughout the season.

The Senior Winter League races will be marked on the calendar as “Senior Winter League”.

The Senior Winter League will consist out of 10 rounds this year:

  • Round 1: Auckland Half Marathon Championship on Sunday 7th April at Auckland Waterfront
  • Round 2: Southland Centennial Relays on Saturday 13th April at Sacred Heart College
  • Round 3: Pukekohe Cross Country Race on Saturday 11th May at Pukekohe Show Grounds
  • Round 4: Pakuranga Cross Country Race on Saturday 18th May at Lloyd Elsmore Park, Pakuranga
  • Round 5: Whippets Night Cross on Saturday 1st June at Birkenhead
  • Round 6: Long Bay Cross Country Race on Saturday 22nd June at Long Bay Regional Park
  • Round 7: Auckland Cross Country Championship AND Auckland Teams Cross Country Championship on Saturday 20th July at Barry Curtis Park
  • Round 8: Owairaka 1hr Road Race on Saturday 17th August at Lovelock Track, Mt Roskill
  • Round 9: Auckland Road Race Championship on Saturday 31st August at Bruce Pulman Park
  • Round 10: Auckland Road Relay Championship on Saturday 14th September at Go Media Stadium, Mt Smart

Junior Winter League

The Junior Winter Relay League is held across the season and clubs compete for the Hansen Shield and Turnco Shield. These races will be marked on the calendar as “Junior Winter League”.

Points are allocated at each event, for each of the Hansen and Turnco Shields. The winners will be the clubs with the highest score over the six events.

If a club does not have enough athletes to form full teams, they can form a combined team with another club – noting that this cannot be the fastest runners from clubs to form an elite team. In such instances points will be split across clubs.

Entries are usually submitted by the clubs, so be sure to reach out to your local club to enquire about this.

The Junior Relay League will consist out of 6 Relay events this year:

  • Round 1: South Centennial Relays on Saturday 13th April at Sacred Heart College
  • Round 2: Oratia Junior Relays on Saturday 25th May at Konini Primary School, Glen Eden
  • Round 3: Lynndale Junior Relays on Saturday 8th June at Olympic Park, New Lynn
  • Round 4: Auckland Teams Cross Country on Saturday 20th July at Barry Curtis Park, Flat Bush
  • Round 5: ACA Pairs Relays on Saturday 27th July at Cornwall Park, Greenlane West
  • Round 6: Massey Trial Junior Relays on 7th September at Moire Park, Massey

Link to Junior Events

Junior Grand Prix Series (U8 – U16’s)

With the introduction of the Senior Winter League this year, the Grand Prix series will only apply to the Juniors, aged U8 to U16. Don’t worry Seniors and Masters, you won’t miss out – as these races have been incorporated into the Winter League series, which allows for our families of runners to compete at the same events.

The Grand Prix Series consists of 5 events, of which the first 4 are Cross Country and the final event the Road Championships. Athletes collect points based on their performances across the series.

The Grand Prix series is a chance to race regularly against some of the top runners from other clubs in Auckland and is great for fitness and athletic development. It is also a lot of fun! If you have not had much racing experience, this is a great way to learn and get familiarised with racing formats.

Individual points are picked up as you compete and there are overall league tables for your performances across the whole series. There is also a team’s event and two of the races double up as Auckland Championships – Cross Country and Road.

At the end of the season awards are given to the athletes with the most combined points scored throughout the season.

Races are split by age category and events are professionally marshalled and run under World Athletics Rules.

Age Categories: U8 Boys & Girls, U10 Boys & Girls; U12 Boys & Girls; U14 Boys & Girls; U16 Boys & Girls

Distances: Distances run are generally between 2km to 4km.

 2023 Grand Prix Series Dates

Event Date Venue Hosted By
GP Race 1 Saturday 11th May Pukekohe Showgrounds TTT Runners
GP Race 2 Saturday 18th May Lloyd Elsmore Park Pakuranga Athletic Club
GP Race 3 Saturday 22nd June Long Bay Regional Park Bays Athletic Club
GP Race 4 – includes Auckland XC Champs and XC Teams Champs Saturday 20th July Barry Curtis Park Athletics Auckland
GP Race 5 – includes Auckland Road Champs Saturday 31st August Bruce Pulman Park Athletics Auckland

Non-Registered Runners

Are you not yet a member of a club but would like to give a cross country race a go? Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered.

For those people who do not belong to a club, but still would like the opportunity to run in a competitive race, you will have the option to run in the Senior Winter League and Junior Grand Prix Series as non-registered members.

More details will be found on the entry link prior to each race. Entry fee will include your race number with transponder, which must be collected from the registration desk at the venue and returned following the completion of the race.

Entries generally open 1 – 2 weeks prior to the event and must be done and paid online at time of registration.

Community Fun Run or Walk

Children under the age of 7 years can participate in our Fun Run as well as children who do not want to register and run in their age grade race. These events are also open to parents and partners of competitive runners, as well as non-registered runners who do not wish to run in competitive races. There is no need to pre-register for these races, simply come along and pay the entry fee on the day at the registration desk. You can choose to run one or two laps of the course (each lap is usually 2km). Parents and adults can run with younger children or just enjoy exercising in the company of others in various parks around the city.

Not sure about running or jogging the 2km/4km? Then why not try walking it? We invite Social Walkers to enjoy this experience as well.  Entry is the same as for the Fun Run.

 Auckland Championships Dates

  • Sunday 7th April – Auckland Half Marathon Championship – Auckland Waterfront
  • Saturday 20th July – Auckland Cross Country & Teams Championship, Barry Curtis Park
  • Saturday 31st August – Auckland Road Race Championship, Bruce Pulman Park
  • Saturday 14th September – Auckland Road Relays Championship, Go Media Stadium, Mt Smart

 National Championships Dates

  • Sunday 21st April – NZ Senior Half Marathon Championship – Christchurch
  • Friday 3rd May – NZ Road Mile Championship – Rotorua
  • Saturday 4th May – NZ Road 5km Championship – Rotorua
  • Saturday 3rd August – NZ Cross Country Championship – Hawkes Bay
  • Saturday 4th August – NZ Cross Country Teams Championship – Hawkes Bay
  • Saturday 28th September – NZ Road Relay Championship – Taupo
  • Sunday 13th October – NZ Trail Running Championship – Christchurch
  • Sunday 26th October – NZ 10km Road Running Championship – Timaru

 Important Information for Race Day

  • Have you entered: Make sure you enter before the entries cut-off date and time. Lists will be posted on our website on the Friday prior to the event. Double check that your name is on the list if you have entered.
  • Be organised: The best advice to all competitors (not just first-timers), is to arrive at the site early. There is lots to do before a race, and lots of people are trying to do the same thing, so the best way to avoid being rushed is to ensure you have enough time to get organised pre-race.
  • Check In: Athletes must report to the Registration Desk to check in and receive their race number (which has a transponder attached). Remember to remove and return your number at the end of your race.
  • Reporting Times: All athletes should arrive at least 1 hour prior to their race to allow enough time for check in, check out the course layout, complete warm-up preparations, and be ‘race-ready’.

Start Times: Start times vary for each event. Go to the start line 10 minutes prior to the start of your scheduled race. A course map, programme and venue directions can be found under Events on the Athletics Auckland website

Remember – races can sometimes start a few minutes earlier or later than scheduled.

  • Uniform: Athletes must wear their correct club uniform. Please ensure you check with your club on what their requirements are.
  • What to bring with you to the start line: Your club singlet, running shoes/spikes (if wearing these), your race number with transponder.
  • What not to bring with you to the start line: iPods and electronic devices (you cannot wear earbuds/air pods, etc while competing). In most instances you will be allowed to run with a smart watch, unless otherwise specified.
  • No pacing: At no time is pacing allowed during a race. If someone runs next to you while you are competing, this is seen as pacing, and may result in you being disqualified.
  • If you are unsure, ASK: If you are unsure of anything on race day, please ask one of the Athletics Auckland members or someone from your club. Rather be sure of the rules.

Athletics Auckland Cross Country Representative  Team

Athletics Auckland will be selecting a team for the following Championship

Expression of Interest 2024 NZXC

Selection Criteria Auckland Team to NZ XC Championships

Athletics New Zealand Cross Country Championships 

The Athletics Auckland Selectors attend each Centre Meet across the calendar prior to Team Selections.  Special consideration will be given to performances at the Auckland Cross Country Championships.  Athletes are selected for U18, U20, Senior and Masters grades. The 2024 Championships are being held in Hawkes Bay.

Athletics New Zealand Road Race Championships

NZ Road Race Championships 26th October in Timaru are now a Club Event.  There will be no selected Auckland Team.