Capital Punishment

Wellington’s biggest and baddest hill climb!

This event is no longer held because we do not have a race director. If anyone would like to volunteer for this important and rewarding role, please contact our president.

Mt Kaukau, Sunday 15 March 2015

A killer hill-climb event for only the toughest runners! Starting and finishing at the top of Truscott Avenue in Johnsonville, this event takes in a loop around Old Coach Road and Mt Kaukau. It includes the longest and steepest hill climb in Wellington: the access road up Mt Kaukau – a 280m climb over 2.5km, a gradient of 11%. Prizes will be given for the race winners, and for the “King of Kaukau” and “Queen of Kaukau” for the fastest climb times. There is also a walking section.

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The course

The event start is on the grassed area at the Truscott Avenue entrance to Johnsonville Park in Johnsonville.

After a circuit of the field to allow you to spread out a bit you will head North down Truscott Avenue on the left hand footpath, take the first left turn onto McLintock St and start climbing. After about 200m you turn left into Meadowcroft Grove and continue climbing up to the end of the street where you pass through the gate to the water tower and reserve access road. Keep climbing, following the winding (traffic free) road up until you get to the water tower (approx 1km) where you enter a short section of single track on the right side that takes you up (and yes you are still climbing!) towards the ridge. Cross the fence at the designated place and follow the poled route over the ridge to join the Northern Walkway which bears to your right heading north. This track takes you through the saddle and a short sharp descent to the top of the Old Coach Road (approx 2km). Follow Old Coach Road all the way to the bottom staying on the formed roadway until you reach the gate at the end of Rifle Range Road. Here you take a left turn onto the private access road to Mt Kaukau (approx 4km). This is the big one! All that downhill now has to be paid back. Head straight up the road – you will gain almost 300m in the next 2.5km to reach the transmitter tower so probably best to pace yourself!

At the top, congratulate yourself briefly – but best not stop just yet – head towards the lookout and turn left around the skyline signpost to head down the grassy slope back towards Johnsonville. The route crosses the fence on the right over the stile then descends further until it meets the gravel and clay 4WD route where you turn to the right. Follow this road over the undulations for about 500m where your route takes a left onto a short section (50m) of single track before joining the 4WD track again. Continue straight ahead and then bear left. Follow the road which undulates but generally descends. Do not turn down the first access to Truscott Ave; you will shortly come to the second access adjacent to the old water reservoir. Take the right hand, downhill track and descend the steps that will take you all the way back to the finish line at Truscott Avenue.

The total distance is about 8.3km, with two climbs: 80m of ascent over 1.3km at the start, and 280m of ascent over 2.5km up Mt Kaukau (a gradient of 11%).

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If you wish to pay by credit card, you need to enter in advance at EnterOnLine. Online entries close at midnight on Thursday before the event.

If you wish to pay by cash, entries will be taken from 7.30 on the day at the race headquarters (Olympic clubrooms). (Sorry, EFTPOS and credit card entry will not be available on the day.)

The cost is $20.

Event details


The event is based at the entrance to Johnsonville Park at the top of Truscott Avenue in Johnsonville. Race headquarters is the Olympic Harriers clubrooms, 1km away on Bannister Ave. Entries will be taken on the day at the headquarters. Bags can also be left at both venues.

How to get there

If you are coming to Johnsonville via the motorway from the south (up the Ngauranga Gorge), take the Johnsonville exit and turn left at the first set of traffic lights, onto Broderick Road. Continue straight through the lights (crossing Moorefield Road); Alex Moore Park is on your left. For the Olympic clubrooms, turn left onto Bannister Avenue; for the event start line, continue up Broderick Road, through the small roundabout onto Truscott Avenue. The start/finish line is at the park at the top of this road.

If you are coming to Johnsonville via the motorway from the north (Tawa and Porirua), take the Johnsonville exit. Go straight through the first roundabout, onto Moorefield Road, to the right of Mobil/McDonalds. Turn right at the traffic lights, turning onto Broderick Road. For the Olympic clubrooms, turn left onto Bannister Avenue; for the event start line, continue up Broderick Road, through the small roundabout onto Truscott Avenue. The start/finish line is at the park at the top of this road.

To get from the clubrooms to the start line, head left up Bannister Avenue, turn right onto Atua Street, left onto Kipling Street, right onto Elliott Street, and finally left onto Truscott Avenue. The start/finish line is at the park at the top of this road.


Here’s what happens on the day:

  • 7.30am: Entries open at the race headquarters (Olympic Harriers clubrooms)
  • 8.00am: Entries for walkers close
  • 8.15am: Race briefing for walkers.
  • 8.30am Race start for walkers
  • 8.30am: Entries for runners close
  • 8.45am: Race briefing for runners.
  • 9.00am: Race start for runners
  • 11.00am: Prizegiving at race headquarters.


Changing facilities, toilets and bag storage will be available at the Olympic Harriers clubrooms. There will also be Portaloos at the race start/finish.

Drink station: There will be a drink station at Rifle Range Road, at the bottom of the Mt Kaukau climb.


The prizegiving is at 11:00 at the race headquarters (Olympic clubrooms).

Merit prizes will be available for the first male and female across the line, and for the “King of Kaukau” and “Queen of Kaukau”, for the fastest climb times. Splits will be taken at the bottom and the top of the climb to determine the fastest climb times. There will be no merit prizes for the walking section.

There will also be spot prizes for both runners and walkers. They will be drawn by hand so please put your race number in the box available.


Results for each race will be posted on the results section of this website shortly after the event.


A photographer from Nesport will take photos on the day. Photos can be viewed and purchased after the event on the Nesport website.

Rules/safety information

  • Competitors agree to abide by the event rules and to follow all reasonable directions of event officials and traffic police.
  • Competitors acknowledge that they take part entirely at their own risk.
  • Competitors acknowledge no refunds will be given if the event is unable to be held due to events outside the organisers’ control.
  • The weather on Mt Kaukau can be nasty – please ensure you carry appropriate gear.
  • The course crosses private farmland so please do not bring dogs.

Please note that the access road up Mt Kaukau is a private road. Please do not use this road at any other time unless you have permission from the landowner.


Many thanks to our sponsors, who have provided fantastic spot prizes. Please support them when you can!

Lifestyle Sports Dress Smart Tawa Yealands Estate wines Shoe Clinic Porirua 
P A Proctor Massage


This event is organised by Olympic Harriers. For enquiries please email our event director Steve Bligh, or phone 04 971 8772.

Athletics New Zealand sanctioned event AW0315.

Last updated: 19 Apr 2018