meet the talented team...

Paul CharterisRace Director - Paul Charteris
Forever wishing I was a faster runner, with tanned legs. I started planning this run in late 2008, because I love trail running and I love this area. See blog posts about the Tarawera philosophy and my experiences after one year (in 2009) of starting a small trail running business.

I am responsible for overall coordination of this event. However, after the 2010 race, I realised I needed some serious help to efficiently run a growing event. Hence, the dream team you see assembled here. If you'd like to see what I am up to, please view the blog. In between organising runs, I work at Scion - and run in the Whaka Forest (nearly) every lunchtime. If you have any questions or comments, there are many ways you can always contact me. I am responsible primarily for staffing, overall planning, financials, as well as some media, sponsors, athlete and Ultra-Trail World Tour liaison. The Tarawera Ultramarathons is owned/run by NZ Trail Runs Ltd. of which I am the shareholder.

MikeOperations Manager - Mike van der Boom
 Mike has been the events manager for the Whakatane District Council for the past five years and now works for Cheeky Rooster Ltd (Communications, PR and event management). Mike has practical event management experience in a broad range of events including the Bike Odyssey (a three day Mountain bike event), adventure races, concerts and festivals. Mike loves the outdoors and has competed in numerous endurance events including the Speight’s coast to coast,  Ironman NZ, the Kepler Challenge and the Tararua Mountain Race. Mike also worked as a school teacher for 15 years and has coordinated many outdoor education courses and trips.

budgieSafety Coordinators- Budgie and Henry

The Peak Safety crew have decades of experience managing risk in the outdoor environment and continue to use the skills and knowledge on a daily basis. Being totally good buggers, they mountain bike, ski, raft, hunt and sea kayak, climb rock, ice and snow, surf, skate, dive, parent and whitewater kayak. They fish in the rivers and oceans and sometimes even catch something.

Mark (aka Budgie) has been developing and managing safety systems and emergency response in challenging environments for over 20-years. He has been at the forefront of the development of safety systems in the ski industry and managed the safety services operation for Whakapapa Ski Area, the largest ski area in New Zealand, for two decades. Henry has been managing safety in the outdoor environment for over 10 years.

Safety coordinators will be under the guidance of the event doctor and will coordinate with St. John Ambulance services which will be on-hand during the event.


Graeme simpsonMedia Director - Graeme Simpson
BlueDog Media +64 21 746538
I’m a TV producer, director and scriptwriter by trade with 30 years in the business. I’ve worked on everything from documentaries, live to air (including the 1990 Commonwealth Games in Auckland), kids, music and lifestyle shows to big and small budget ads and corporate DVDs.
We moved to Rotorua in 2000, for the environment and pace of life, but mainly because of our love of mountain biking.
My first experience of media direction, marketing and organisation of events was for the 2006 UCI Mountain Bike & Trials World Championships, starting at the end of 2003. I was one of the organisers and ran media and marketing for the 2010 Singlespeed World Champs, with 1000 mountain bikers from 30 countries in town. For this, Gary Sullivan of NZO Active and I received a nomination for a 2011 Sports New Zealand Communications Excellence Award, up against well-funded national organisations. Taking Rotorua to the big city!
I am media and marketing director for the Rotorua Bike Festival and creative director on a couple of Auckland based video projects.

It’ll be a busy start to 2014. But it’s great to also be working on the Tarawera Ultra, another event with worldwide significance, and alongside such a world-class team and race director.

Rotorua Coordinator - Tim Day
Tim DayKia ora, I’m the new Rotorua Coordinator for 2014, and thrilled to be part of the team. By day I’m Dr Tim…. a wildlife biologist running Xcluder, a business focused on technology for protecting natural environments (such as the Tarawera Ultra course) from invasive pest animals. I live, work, hunt, fish and play in the Rotorua region and I spend as much time as possible ‘out there doing it’ with my young family and mates. With my office less than 200m from the start line, I get to run (either barefoot or in my Fivefingers) on different parts of the Tarawera course several time a week…... I’m pretty lucky! I’ve been a middle-of-the-pack runner at Tarawera for the past 2 years, completing the 60km and 85km. My target was completing the 100km in 2014, but I’ve instead jumped on the fantastic opportunity to support Tarawera Ultra and help show off our great place by joining Paul’s team. I’ll be completing the 100km course solo prior to the 2014 event, just so I can finish off my Tarawera Ultra journey, and also be in a better position to support you fantastic race entrants! Bring it on!

60km finish line Coordinator - Meagan Edhouse
Kawerau Coordinator - Edwina O'Brien
EdwinaEdwina coordinates volunteers in Kawerau and Tarawera Forest, Kawerau finish-line coordinator and 60km finish-line coordinator. Liaison with many Kawerau community and recreational groups and suppliers. Edwina is extremely capable in all aspects of people management, Kawerau volunteer management, iwi liaison and coordinating staff. She has held management/coordination roles for: Gravity Sports Kawerau 6-Hour Adventure Race, Kawerau Mountain Race, Kawerau Half Marathon, and has played a leadership role in many Kawerau health and wellness initiatives. She has been with the Tarawera Ultra. since the beginning.

Kawerau Liaison - Lee Barton
Lee BartonLee Barton, Team Leader, Events and Community Activities for Kawerau District Council is your archetypal jack of all 'event' trades(man).
With a background in performing arts, youth work and community development Lee brings to the team a myriad of skills (Lee was the main
man behind the Okataina Aid Station in 2013).  He is the organiser of Kawerau Woodfest, Kawerau Christmas in the Park and is a key contributor with the famous Kawerau King of the Mountain and all events Whitewater based in Kawerau, most recently the World Rafting Champs. He is also part of the KDC Civil Defence team, presently filling the Logistics Manager's role. Lee has been involved with the TUM since 2009 and can be partly blamed for discovering the infamous Loop of Despair; he is a jovial chap who is passionate about his work and welcomes you all to Kawerau for the world renowned Tarawera Ultramarathon.

simoneSponsors and Elite Athlete Liaison - Simone Walker I'm excited to be part of the Tarawera Ultra phenomenon as the new sponsor and elite athlete co-ordinator. While running's not in my blood (yet), details and communications are and I look forward to ensuring our sponsors and athletes get the most out of this event. I have event management experience stemming from a number of years working in PR and communications at a public relations consultancy in Auckland, a brewery in London and Scion here in Rotorua. This year I'll be indulging my creative side a bit more as a student of The Actors' Program in Auckland, with work for the Tarawera Ultra being the perfect role to fit around my studies. I'll be in touch with our wonderful sponsors and talented elites in due course, but if you would like to get in contact you can reach me on


Mark copelandGovernance and legal - Mark Copeland
Mark Copeland is a Rotorua-based commercial lawyer who has been involved in ultra running for over 25 years. Among myriad activities he has run every Great Walk in New Zealand and has also competed overseas, including in the Pikes Peak Marathon and various Fell circuits in the UK. He co-founded the Wellington-based RidgeRunners trail running Group, and has twice organised the New Zealand Rogaining Championships. Mark is currently experiencing something of a renaissance in his trail running, helped greatly by his enthusiasm for the Tarawera Ultramarathon.

kerry suterAthletes Liaison - Kerry Suter
I offset my sedentary IT professional lifestyle with as much running as the day allows. A huge fan of Tarawera Ultra, Ive run it every year since inception and hope to maintain that unbroken streak for as long as I remain unbroken. I'm currently enjoying my running without obsessing about it and have a good working knowledge of ultra distance training and competing at a national level. Always keen to talk about the sport I love, I welcome questions from athletes of all abilities. BTW - Kerry is a 2x Champion of the Tarawera Ultra. and holds multiple course records.

marcus diproseTiming Controller - Marcus Diprose
Active timing is supplying timing services for the Tarawera Ultra in 2014, as we have done since 2010. We are a company based in Rotorua and we specialise in timing sports event, the more complex the better! And the Tarawera Ultra is definitely a complex event with multiple races and multiple legs spread over a large distance. It is certainly a challenge but one we are up for. We work closely with Paul to ensure we are providing the best service for the Tarawera Ultra. Apart from providing results for the event, one of the most important aspects we help events with is competitor safety. As part of the our timing services for an event we have a competitors medical information a mouse click away and work in closely with the race director and the safety manager to ensure all competitors are looked after during the course of the event. You can visit us at our website See you in March 2014 Marcus has also been running NDuro Events in and around Rotorua for eight years. Thousands of mountain bikers from all over the world have taken part in NDuro good honest fun events including the Whaka 100. Marcus is also a key dude bringing the singlespeed world championships to New Zealand in October 2010.




Our Sponsors who go the extra mile...

nz fern Events & Venues Rotorua Marmot Te Puia
Kawerau District Council ultimate direction Hammer Nutrition Injinji Performance Toe Socks

Mark Copelan Lawyer trRotorua Holiday inn Buff Abracadbra Cafe and Bar Rotorua