Know before you go - AdventureSmart

For the first time ever, Red Bull Defiance will open two of its most iconic mountain stages as single stage, individual events – providing off-road bikers and runners with the opportunity to participate in what has fast become New Zealand’s toughest and most exciting off-road multisport race.

Located in the Wanaka region, the single stage events will be held on the same weekend as the core two-day team event which sold out its full capacity (80 teams) within two months of release and attracted high profile athletes from around the globe.

The newly-launched 43km Minaret Burn Mountain Bike race will be held on January 21, 2017, offering a rare opportunity to ride through one of New Zealand’s most iconic high country stations. Commencing with a barge ride across Lake Wanaka to the start line on Minaret Station, the ride itself follows the shoreline of Lake Wanaka climbing 1200 vertical metres with a combination of undulating terrain and steeper climbs before descending on a mixture of 4WD and single track.

Minaret Burn MTBMinaret Burn MTB
(Photo: Miles Holden; click to enlarge)

The 28km Skyline Traverse mountain run will be held on January 22, 2017, and is a true highlight of Red Bull Defiance. This trail run begins with a lengthy ascent climbing 1848 vertical meters, followed by a technical ridgeline traverse from Mt Alpha to Mt Roy. The steep descent will test tired legs, before the last 7km of mostly flat trail to the finish line, on the Wanaka foreshore.

The incredibly fast sell-out of the team categories, coupled with growing demand for more athlete spaces within Red Bull Defiance, inspired the organisers to launch the single stage events. Limited entries will be released.

Event Director Sally Currie says: “Although the team category remains the core element of Red Bull Defiance, the single stage events provide the perfect introductory platform for individuals wanting to be a part of this world-class event. We are in awe of the incredible athlete talent we have in New Zealand and we are stoked to have top male and female athletes already pre-registered for the new single stage events. They will no doubt set a blistering pace on race day.”

Queenstown-based endurance mountain biker and international champion, Erin Greene has confirmed she will be racing the Minaret Burn Mountain Bike. The following day world adventure racing champion Chris Forne is set to race the Skyline Traverse, as well as international mountain runner Sarah Douglas, of Queenstown (2014 Routeburn Classic women’s champion and record holder).

Skyline TraverseSkyline Traverse
(Photo: Miles Holden; click to enlarge)

Very limited early bird entries for the single stage events will be officially released at 7am on September 15. Athletes are encouraged to pre-register for first dibs on these at

Early bird fees are $189 for the Minaret Burn Mountain Bike and $95 for the Skyline Traverse.

For updates and promotions, follow the Red Bull Defiance Facebook page to receive regular updates.