The Tarawera Ultra-Marathon is one of the most prestigious ultra trail in New Zealand, based in Rotura, this year will be held the 11th edition and will be the second race of the Ultra Trail World Tour after the Vibram Hong Kong 100. There will be four races for all runners 20km, 50km, 102km and 100 Mile Endurance Run which will route runners along seven lakes, forests, waterfalls, etc.

The course runs through places of cultural significance to local Maori people. Over 2000 participants and more than 800 international athletes will compete in the different races. Some of the world’s best elite trail ultra runners take part. A great first-time challenge, some will run for the personal challenge, train like never before and enjoy that medal at the finish line.


2017 Tarawera Ultra Marathon. Photo: Graeme Murray






IRONMAN, a Wanda Sports Holdings Company, has announced the acquisition of Tarawera Ultra-Marathon, one of the iconic Trail Running races based in the landscapes of Rotorua and the surrounding region. In its eleventh year, the Tarawera Ultra-Marathon is established as one of New Zealand’s and the world’s most popular and prestigious trail running events, with over 2000 runners expected for the February 6 to 10 event this year and that takes part of the Ultra Trail World Tour (it will be the second of the races after the Vibram Hong Kong 100).

We are excited at the opportunity for further growth and development of the Tarawera Ultra under the guidance of the team at IRONMAN,” said Paul Charteris, owner and founder of Tarawera Ultra-Marathon. “I am so proud of what the event has become in the past 11 years. The event started as a dream when I was running around in the Sierra Nevada mountains of California, home to the Western States Endurance Run. That dream became a reality when I returned to New Zealand in 2008.

Both Charteris and Race Director Tim Day will stay on with the event, continuing to deliver a world class experience with the guidance and support of the IRONMAN team.

For the past 11 years, the Tarawera Ultra has led the way in New Zealand and globally. It has become one of the most prestigious and popular trail running events in the world. What I am most proud of is the community of people this event has helped grow. We’ve been part of the journey of people’s lives,” Charteris continued.

One of the keys to that success and the potential for future growth is the event’s location, in the heart of the central North Island. Tarawera is considered the birthplace of tourism in New Zealand and for over 150 years, visitors have been drawn to the natural beauty of the area. Today, Rotorua plays host to more than four million visitors each year.

“Just as the run is woven into the hillsides, forests and around the lakes of this volcanic landscape, the culture of the people of Te Arawa are woven into the event,” said Charteris. “The run takes place in an area of significant spiritual value to the people of Te Arawa and the organisers fully acknowledge that the ability to run the event in such a location as a privilege.

IRONMAN Oceania Managing Director Dave Beeche is delighted to have added such a prestigious event to the portfolio. “Paul, Tim and the team have done a wonderful job over these past 10 years delivering an event of high quality on some amazing and inspiring trails through the Rotorua heartland. We are honoured to now take up the challenge of further growing and nurturing the event on those same values.

“The Tarawera has been built on a love for the customers, looking after them and fostering a close-knit trail running community. The values of the Tarawera are customer centric, with a focus on delivering a welcoming and friendly event, something that we aspire to in all our events,” Beeche added. “We can’t wait to work closely with Paul, Tim and team to take the Tarawera Ultra to an even larger and more globally diverse audience.





2019 Tarawera Ultra-Marathon Trail Running Festival

Tarawera Ultra Marathon will be February 6 to 10, 2019 in Rotorua, New Zealand. There will be different races 20km, 50km, 102km and 100 miler (160km), courses through the Rotorua, Tarawera region and enjoys the cooperation and support of local Iwi.

The 102km race will be part of the Ultra-Trail® World Tour. The Tarawera 100 Mile Endurance Run receives investment from the New Zealand Major Events Development Fund. The 50km, 102km and 100 miler are qualifying races for UTMB. The 102km and 100 miler see runners vie for qualifying spots at the Western States 100-mile Endurance Run, the world’s oldest 100-mile trail race• International competitors predominantly from Australia, Asia and the USA

Tarawera 20k (21.3km and +794m/-869m): just almost over the half marathon, the race will be a point-to-point trail run featuring Lake Okareka, Lake Tikitapu, The Redwoods and steamy sulphur trails to the finish line. A combination of trails and forestry roads with native bush, conifer forest, parkland and thermal landscapes. It starts at Lake Okareka, towering redwoods, steam alongside the trail at Sulphur Point, run alongside Blue Lake and Lake Rotorua, finish at historic Government Gardens, Rotorua.



Tarawera 50k (50.7km and +1833m/-1865m): Combination of trails and forestry roads with native bush, conifer forest, parkland and thermal landscapes, the isthmus start and scenic boatride, the Tarawera Trail alongside the lake, fresh scones at the Buried Village aid station, run under a waterfall, towering redwoods, steam alongside the trail at Sulphur Point, run along four lakes, finish at historic Government Gardens, Rotorua.



Tarawera 102k (102km and +3089m/-2843m): Second race of the Ultra-Trail World Tour, the most international running race in New Zealand and one of the most competitive trail ultras in the world. Point to point, combination of trails and forestry roads with native bush, conifer forest, farmland, parkland and thermal landscapes. A very similar course to 2018, but with possibly 1km less distance.

Single track 60% | forest track minor forest route 23% | farm/park 5% | forest road 7% | public road 5%

Start line at Haka, the solitude of the Tarawera Forest, waterfalls on the Tarawera Falls track, twists and turns on the Eastern Okataina track, towering redwoods, steam alongside the trail at Sulphur Point, run along five lakes, finish at historic Government Gardens, Rotorua.



Tarawera 160km (160km and +5132m/-5134m): A challenging ultra-distance race in the Rotorua and Tarawera regions. Completing an anti-clockwise loop, the event starts and finishes at Government Gardens in Rotorua. Runners start in the dark on Saturday morning and many will run for 24 or more hours – finishing on Sunday.
The course features eight lakes, streams, rivers, native bush, planted forests, farmland and volcanic areas. A boatride takes runners across Lake Rotomahana.






Info by Abel de Frutos for Trailrunningspain