The website for the Riverhead Adventures run/walk doesn't provide a huge amount of information about the event; I ran the 50K on Easter Monday, April 9th 2012 and had been unable to find any other blogs or race reports before the event, so post this information here to give my impressions of it.
Note that I've only run in this event once, so my impressions are based entirely on the 2012 event, and the course may be different in future years.
This is a small event and there are generally only 40 to 50 participants in total each year. With it being an out and back (and out and back) course you pass everyone a few times and everyone said hi or waved and there were a lot of words of encouragement etc from fellow runners and walkers. A great atmosphere.
Riverhead Adventures starts and ends at the Riverhead Hall on the corner of Elliot St and the Coatesville Riverhead Highway. The 50K run and 30K walk start at 6:00am and the 30K run at 8:00am. Given that the event is usually held at Easter, there's a great big full moon so even though it's dark when starting at 6am you don't need a headlamp.
The first and last 2 to 3 kilometres are on the highway and roads and then you hit the forestry roads in Riverhead Forest. Almost the entire event is on forestry roads with a very short section on a trail. The forestry roads are hard packed with a lot of gravel although most of it's small and the forestry trucks have cleared paths through the gravel with their wheels.
The course itself is an out and back along these roads. There's a turnaround point at the 15K mark which marks the half way point for 30K runners and walkers, who then follow the course all the way back to Riverhead Hall.
The 50K runners also turn around at the 15K mark, run back to the 5K mark, then turn around and head back out to the 15K mark (now 35K). This is the final turn around and they then follow the course all the way back to Riverhead Hall.
The official website says that there is water at un-manned aid stations every 5K with no cups, and that you need to be self-sufficient. On the day it turned out to be quite different, in a good way.
There were aid stations every 5K but they were manned and there were cups, Pepsi, cut bananas, electrolytes, chips and lollies and the aid station volunteers would fill our bottles for us etc. Again, this is what happened in the 2012 event and I don't know if it's been like this in other years or will be in the future.
One of the nice things with it being out and back and out and back again, is that if you wanted you could drop something off at one of them and collect it later on and I saw a few people do this. The race organisers also had some plastic buckets you could dump gear in before the event, and they were driven to the aid stations.
Prize giving and spot prizes
From about midday, there's a prize giving with a trophy for the first man and first women in the 50K and this was followed by spot prizes. For the small size of the event, there were a lot of spot prizes which included wine, books, a water purifier, free range eggs (from Gary the race director's own hens), chocolates, etc.
Almost everyone stayed for the prize giving and a lot of people won prizes. Race numbers would be drawn from the box and then you'd go up and choose your prize. My number was drawn and I chose a book about the history of ultra running in New Zealand.
This was a small, enjoyable event with a good atmosphere.