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Saturday, 13 Aug 2022: Needle Road Relay (Wellington Relay Champs) 5 laps / 21km, Evans Bay Marina carpark (Zephyrometer)
Updated 3 Aug 2022 at 7:56 pm.

2022 details (same as 2021):

The races 

There are three distinct events, open to both registered and social members of clubs: the Walkers' Turkey Trot; the Children’s Needle Relay, and the Needle Relay. Each event starts on the footpath by the wind needle and runners and walkers remain on the footpath at ALL times and no headphones or earphones worn while competing

10:30 am: Walkers' Turkey Trot (5km walk for all ages). Walk north on the footpath besides Evans Bay Parade for 2.5km, turning around at the city end of Weka Bay. Walkers estimate their time with the winners being those closest to the estimated time. No watches or phones allowed! Enter on the day

12:00pm: Children’s Needle Relay (10-13 years of age). 4 runners per team, each running the same 1.6km lap. Teams are made up of any mix of boys and girls. 1.6km lap: Run south to east on the footpath along Cobham Drive for 0.8km, turning at the positioned marshal.

1:00pm: Needle Relay (Junior Women U20 Junior Men U20 Senior Women Senior Men Masters Women 35+ Masters Men 35+ Masters Women 50+ Masters Men 50+ Masters Men 60+ Composite/Mixed - can be mixed ages, gender, and clubs). Five runners per team, running a mix of 5km and 3km laps that total 21km. The 10 age grades run together, making for a compact and competitive day of racing.

Laps 1, 3, and 5 (5km): Run north on the footpath beside Evans Bay Parade for 2.5km, turning around at the city end of Weka Bay. Runners stay on the footpath and run around the outside of Cog Park, NOT on the limestone path through the park.

Laps 2 and 4 (3km): Run east on the footpath beside Cobham Drive for 1.5km. The turnaround is about 200m past the main airport roundabout.

  • Age grades as at 31 December 2022, except Masters where age is as at 13th August 2022.
  • All competitors, apart from those in the Children’s Relay, must be at least 14 years of age.
  • Prizegiving will be held after each event, with medals awarded to the first team in each grade.


  • Each relay team is allocated a specific baton which must be collected from the tent at Race HQ from one hour before the race start (the baton number will be independent from the bib number).
  • Batons are fitted with timing chips and must only be used by the team it has been assigned to.
  • Batons must be returned at the end of the relay in the bins provided near the start/finish area. 


The relay is organised by the Wellington Harrier Athletic Club Inc. and is held under Athletics New Zealand rules. All competitors compete at their own risk. Team captains must attend a race briefing at the start/finish area 15 minutes before the start of the race, and are responsible for ensuring all team members understand the race rules and procedures.

(a) RACE HQ:
On the grass by the Wind Needle There is limited parking available in the marina carpark by the Wind Needle. Participants and spectators are encouraged to carpool and to park in and around Kilbirnie. Toilets are available but there is no water or shelter (there is limited space for club tents on the grass area) so come prepared. First aid will be provided by Wellington Free Ambulance, stationed in the marina car park.

Competitors must run on the footpath at ALL times, staying left as much as possible. Footpaths are open to the public so competitors must be courteous to other users. Do not step onto the road under any circumstances, including if passing another runner or members of the public. Competitors and spectators must follow all instructions from the Race Referee, Race Marshals, Police Officers and Council Officers at all times. Marshals will be posted at any points along the course where cars enter and exit, and runners must stop if directed by marshals to do so.

Runners must wear club uniform, with the allocated race bib worn clearly on the front of their singlet.

All team members must run with their team’s allocated baton in their hand for the duration of their lap, before passing to the next runner within the allocated changeover zone. Next lap runners must enter the changeover area via the designated waiting pen, and only enter the changeover area once they see their incoming runner. There are two pens for the 21km relay: the city side is for runners on laps 2 and 4 and the airport side is for runners on laps 3 and 5.

If a runner cannot complete their lap, they can be replaced by another member of the team. Any replacement must be notified to officials at Race HQ. Any notified replacements will result in a 7 minute penalty, while unnotified replacements will result in team disqualification.

(f) OTHER RULES No runner may run more than one lap for any A &/or B team across all grades and races. There is to be no pacing of runners as defined in Athletics NZ Road Relay regulations, and no headphones or earphones worn while competing.

IAAF Competition Rules 146 covers protests and appeals. Any protest must be made to the Race Referee within 30 minutes of the finish of the race. Any appeal must be made to the Race Director.

(h) PENALTIES (added to the runner’s time and the team’s overall time)

  • (i) Running on the road: 2 minutes
  • (ii) Second infringement of running on the road for a team (including by the same runner):  Disqualification 
  • (iii) Pacing: 2 minutes
  • (iv) Wearing headphones or earphones: 2 minutes
  • (v) Changing baton outside change zone (added to incoming runner’s time): 1 minute
  • (vi) Notified replacement: 7 minutes
  • (vii) Unnotified replacement: Disqualification


  • Children’s 6.4km relay: 1.6km lap, for both boys and girls, and team total. A boy or a girl is only eligible for a lap record if the runner’s gender is specified on the team information sheet.
  • 21km relay: 3km lap, 5km lap and team total for each of the 10 grades. A runner competing for a team in another grade (for example, a W35 competing in SW team) is only eligible for the age-grade lap record if the runner’s age grade is specified on the team information sheet.

(j) COVID-19

There are no mandatory public health requirements at the current orange traffic light setting. If the traffic
light setting changes, we will adopt that setting’s requirements.