ENTRYEntries close: 12 March 2023

PRE RACE BRIEFING 2021 – Must Knows

Date: April 15th, 2021


Welcome to Lake Hawea and the 13th Contact Epic. The LMS Events team congratulates you on getting this far and look forward to you adding to the camaraderie and positive vibe this race experiences. The next is the easy bit, just hop onto your bike on Saturday morning and keep pedaling until we say stop.  If you need any help with anything please ask someone with a fluro vest.


If for any reason you have registered and decide not to race please text your name and race number stating DNS to Danielle Nicholson 0274595106.


Pre Race: Breakfast, Toilets and Coffee will are available at the Hawea Hotel from 5:00 on.




  • The Epic and Centurion race starts at 7.00am beside the Dam. If you wish to be near the front you need to get there early. However, for everyone’s safety if you are not a serious contender please do not stack up at the front for the start. Most importantly please do not arrive late and try to push in or jump the fence, respect the fact that some have got up early to get their spots. A portaloo will be on the start line for any last minute nerves.


  • Traverse, Your race starts at 7.30am at the same place as the Epic. The Hawea and Clutha River Tracks remains open to the public so please show the appropriate courtesy and share the space if you see other track users.
  • For parking, drive past the front of the Hawea Hotel and turn right behind the garden bar. Follow the signs to the rear of the Hawea Hotel where, on the top level, there is a large paddock for parking. No parking please on the roads leading to or around the dam. If the Hotel area is full you will be directed up to the road to the Hawea Store which is about 3 mins away. Drivers, be aware of cyclists riding down-hill from the hotel to the start line in the dark.


  • Bike lights are required during the hours of darkness.


  • The Centurion race: An Aid Station will be situated at the Centurion turn around point at the very top of the course. Once you go past the Epic turnaround you essentially head straight up the valley. Follow pink ribbons and black arrows that will mark the easiest route and general direction as will the marshals for the river crossings. It is a bit of an adventure up there.


Full Circuit:  Classic


  • Start time is 7.00am at Kidds Bush. It will take approximately 45-55 mins from Wanaka to get to Kidds Bush. There are no lights out there until sun rise, so bring a head torch. 2 toilets flushing are located in the Kidds Bush camping area or via the portaloo next to the start line. The start line is on the eastern end of the reserve. For those supporters driving out, remember to leave straight after the start or stay (approx 1.5 hrs) until the Epic riders have come past as this will be greatly appreciated and reduce vehicles V cyclists on Mead Rd heading back to the state highway.


Alternative Route:  Hawea Hotel to Green Bush Hut and Back (due to too much rain in the headwaters)

You will have opposing bike traffic on the way back down the course. Ride with your fellow rider’s safety in mind. Road rules apply. Keep Left, pass on the right. There will be a mix of riding abilities so be patient if you can’t pass safely or where you want.  Let’s get everyone out and back in one piece.


Traverse: no change


Epic and Classic start: 7.00 am beside the Dam. Epic riders will be drafted to the front and ride a 15km loop down Domain Road to the Hawea Back Road before joining the Dingle Burn Road. You will ride to Green Bush Hut (aid station) and 3 km past this to your turnaround; if track and side creek water level allow. Then back track to Hawea Hotel as per the normal course.


Classic riders will be drafted to the back of the Epic and start 5 mins after the Epic riders.  If you are in the Epic start group you will end up doing an extra 15km so make sure you are surrounded by blue plates at the start line please. Classic riders will turn off down Cemetery Road and head to the Dingle Burn Road. You will also ride up to Green Bush Hut Aid Station and then retrace your steps back to the Hawea Hotel. This is approx. 105km. 


  • The biggest hazard for this type of start is high speed bunch riding resulting in crashes on the tarseal, ouch. If you are unfamiliar with bunch riding give yourself lots of room. Be predictable with all actions, Avoid sudden braking and changes of direction or speed, Be smooth with turns at the front of the bunch, Always retire to the back of the bunch,  Point out obstacles, Don’t overlap wheels, Do not panic if you brush shoulders, hands or bars with another rider, Look ahead, Obey the road rules.
  • Centurions, your race will start at 5.00 like the old days. You will ride the Traverse Course and then back to the start and follow the Epic Course up to and past Green Bush Hut before turning around and heading back. If you average 17kmph on the Traverse course you should come out at the start just as our Epic boys and girls are heading off or you may be well ahead or behind them. Make sure you are familiar with the Epic Hawea Flat road course. Obviously you will need lights and a bin will be provided at the Traverse Finish to leave, or grab other gear etc.


Race Information:

  • If you are crossing a river or significant side creek, spot your exit point down river before you start. Cross at a 45 degree angle to the flow. Keep your bike above the water if possible and on the down river side of you. If you are not sure, ask for help. If you are crossing a side creek and you are unsure please wait for another rider to come along.


  • The existing hazards: Bunch riding on the road and other vehicular traffic both marshals and public. Loose and exposed rock, narrow tracks, fast descents with water ruts at the bottom, steep exposure at the tracks edge at times, wandering stock, other passing riders and rider fatigue, very cold and deep river and stream crossings. All the things that make the Epic an Epic but needs to be managed by you.  You may encounter a 4×4 vehicle coming towards you on the private Hunter, Dingle Burn or Hawea River 4×4 tracks. This will be in emergency cases only as they will be heading to an accident site, so always ride in control, keep focused and be aware.
  • Remember to take your donation (paper is lighter than coins) for the tea and scones fund raiser at the Dingle Burn Café (Centurion/Epic/Classic only).


  • There are no road closures. Normal road rules apply to all roads and 4×4 tracks on all courses at all times.
  • Note to self; it doesn’t matter if you are coming first or last, your rubbish is your rubbish. Own it, love it, keep it. No one wants to see it on our tracks. If you are seen dropping rubbish you will be disqualified. We take a very hard line on this as it’s an essential part of keeping the land access for this race. Since I’m waving the finger the other issue to remember is no drafting off e-bikes.
  • E-bikes: will line up and start at the very front of the Classic start area and will be released 4 mins before the rest as its good to give them a head start. For the Traverse all will start together. There are no ebikes in the Epic or Centurion.


  • Very Important Note. Keep left on all tracks and roads, particularly so on the fast descents. Do not change suddenly from one side of the 4×4 track to the other as faster cyclists trying to pass could end up in your spokes and both of you will, at best, end up in a heap on the ground. Be prepared for the passing cyclist to call out that they are coming through on your right” and keep to your line. For this safety reason we do not recommend IPODs.


  • The above point is particularly important for the slower Classic riders that will be caught and passed by the faster Epic riders. So keep left on the descents, ride in control at all times and indicate your intentions early.


  • Weather: 0 degrees on the start line, morning cloud then becoming fine for the rest of the day reaching 10 degrees max. Light winds. It will be cold so dress accordingly.


  • Your transponders will be attached to your race plates, do not cut your plates as you could end up being untimed.


  • We do not accept transferred entries. For professional and medical reasons we need to know who is on the course and what medical conditions etc they may have in case of emergencies.


  • If you withdraw from the race, PLEASE inform a marshal ASAP and do not cross the transponder mats if you are back in the garden bar with your bike.


  • You will receive a Contact Epic Vehicle sticker at registration. Please place this on your car for two chances to be first at prize giving to pick from our top selection of spot prizes on our models. Traverse prize giving, 11 am / Cent, Epic and Classic at 5.30pm.


  • If you want your bike cleaned after the race for $10, we have a fundraiser for the Girl Guides at the finish line. By the time you have had your 2nd beer the bike should be looking like new again. This means you can put it straight in the garage and not think about it again for a few weeks without feeling too guilty.


  • Most importantly be safe out there. Focus on the journey, not the destination. If an opportunity arises to help someone out with a break down or at crash then take it. Karma will pay you back in spades one day. Record your time lost and we will credit it back to you. Traditionally we have the friendliest riders and volunteers out on course, it’s a tradition well worth preserving.


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