Marines Event On Again in May!

Retrace history In the Footsteps of the Marines

By Roger Childs

The hills and valleys behind Paekakariki were an ideal war training ground for US Marines in 1942-43. During this time over 15,000 Americans lived in the three camps in the area, and not surprisingly this “friendly invasion” had a huge impact on the seaside village with its population of 600.

One of those Marines was Leon Uris and in his novel Battle Cry he recounted one of the route marches in the hills. In The Footsteps Of The Marines roughly follows his description.

The Kapiti Joggers and Walkers are organising the seventh running of this event on Sunday 27 May 2018. Last year more 170 walkers and runners participated, including several Marines and US Embassy staff. 

This year it will be part of the celebrations, coordinated by the Kapiti US Marines Trust, commemorating the 76th anniversary of the arrival of US Marines in New Zealand during World War Two.

Two new courses

The view from Campbell’s Mill Road. The middle ground is where Camp Mackay was located.

Because of uncertainty over the availability of Waterfall Road, this year’s event will be entirely in Whareroa Farm and on Campbell’s Mill Road.

Starting on the seaward side of Whareroa Farm shelter, the course takes competitors towards the hills along a farm road, then on winding tracks up to Campbell’s Mill Road. Competitors then head north along the unsealed road. The short course turns around at the saddle, while the long course continues down the hill to the start of the road where participants turn around.

On both courses, participants head back to the entrance into Whareroa Farm. The descent into the farm follows a short bush trail which leads to a zigzag track.

More tracks and an unsealed farm road take walkers, joggers and runners to the finish beside the Whareroa Shelter.

Options to appeal to a range of fitness levels

The runners set off in 2017. (photo by John Granville)

Walkers and runners of all abilities are welcome to enter. There are three categories:

  • Social Walkers and Slow Joggers (9.5km course)
  • Race Walkers (11.5km course)
  • Runners (11.5km course)

The race is restricted to people 12 years and over, unless accompanied by an adult.

The venue is Whareroa Farm, MacKays Crossing, north of Paekakariki.

Race Walkers, Social Walkers and Slow Joggers start at 9.30 am, and Runners at 10 am.

Low entry fee and plenty of extras!

There are plenty of spot prizes, kindly donated by local businesses. After the race competitors can enjoy a cup of hot soup and a roll, and pick up their finisher’s certificate.

Finishers enjoy a cup of water. (Photo by John Granville)

The entry fee is $25 with an extra $5 for late entries on the day.  Entries are now open at

It is one of the best value for money events in the country.

Donations will be made to a range of local charities and groups.

The event is generously sponsored by Pak’nSave, The Print Room and CityFitness.

For more information email:



No Comments

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.