athletes - in their own words...

I had a pretty tough race day (finishing 60KM in a time I usually do 80+). Your race is gorgeous! All the people involved were so awesome -- the aid station folks tremendous. I am quite certain your race will soon number amongst the "must dos" amongst all serious ultra runners. I will cherish my medal always :)

Carla C, - Canada


What a brilliant event! Very well organised, and some of the best trails I've ever run! And I don't know where you find those volunteers of yours but they seemed like angels when they were demons in my legs! haha
Jasjot Kohli – Auckland

Actually ..... a HUGE shout out to the volunteer crew .... they did an AMAZING job yesterday ! And, I did as Paul requested ..... I gave one lady a BIG hug at EACH aid station (some of the guys were a bit miffed) ... just doing as requested … LOL :-)
Ross Steele, Tauranga

You guys were all awesome, encouraging, cheerful and smiling... well done, whether you realise it or not you help us strugglers a tremendous amount!
Mike Tennent, Rotorua

Cant believe I did it! First Ultra Marathon. Beautiful tracks and scenery. Great weather. Felt good.. for the first 40km anyway :-) Definitely will be doing this course again next year! WOW - Bay of Plenty and its people turned it on!! Thanks Paul for organising such an awesome event
Amanda Heapy – Auckland

What a fantastic weekend down in Rotorua this weekend running the Tarawera Ultra Marathon. Fantastic event, fantastic scenery and fantastic people. It was a great day to be alive. I knew I was going to miss the 100km cut off time so decided to go for the 85km course. A big thanks to my training partner Steve Neary who got me home, you are legend. What a great day at the office
Keith Crook – Auckland.

Pacer quote of the day ........ "if I get another slice of pizza I won't have to worry about dinner before getting on the piss tonight!"
Mike Johnson's pacer

Just want to say a Huge thank you to Paul and the team for a fantastic event. What made my 85km effort special (in addition to it being my first 85) is that many of my friends and contacts were inspired by the event to support MS
Tom Fentz, Auckland.

Really enjoyed the run, awesome scenery, shame that from 40K's I was a wreck after a fall, was only glad to see forestry trails after that !! as I know I'd have struggled, thanks to all the aid stations and everyone out there
Kelvin Marshall, Queensland.

A wonderful day and many thanks to all the great people I ran with, Paul for organising such a great event, and all those wonderful volunteers who feed and watered me and put a smile on my face!
Chris Hope – Auckland

I pulled up fine after the Tarawera Ultramarathon. 8hrs 36minutes of opening beer bottles for the finishers (what were they thinking?). My thumb's a bit sore for some reason but that's a small price to pay for such a great event! Enjoy brekkie at Abracadabra Cafe!
Paul Croucher, Croucher Brewery

Thanks for a memory filling day guys. A course to challenge the body and the mind. Vowing many times though the day that once was absolutely enough ... turns out it isn't. Experienced now, so I have to beat that PB. Thanks so so much for an awesome course, I can officially say I have RACED 100kms! See you in 2013!!
Margo Southgate, Wellington

Thanks (to the Humphries Bay Aid Station volunteers) so much for sitting me down and feeding me when I turned up at your checkpoint looking pretty pale! I found new legs after leaving you and make the 100km cut off time and chose to complete the 85km.
Mike Cochrane – Auckland

I am happy to have finished the Tarawera Ultra 100km in 4th. Missed 3rd by 12 or so seconds, coming from 7th at 60km. Aussie Mick Donges won in (unofficial Times) 8.51 2nd Vijan Armstrong 9.02, 3rd Martin Lukes 9.20.?? and in 4th in 9.20.?? Your Truly...Mick ran neck and neck until 55km with Vijan the took lead and 55km. Martin came thru field after issue at 10km. I was 10 min back from Mick and Vijan at 36km, had a bad patch until 60km falling back to 7th and 30 mins back from Mick, then roared home over the last 40km in 3.14min (I think the quickest of the top 4). Was super strong and fast back end, so very happy to escape with 4th after it was not looking very good at 55km. Great race, awesome win for the Aussies. My amazing wife Kim Eadie ran the 60km in 8.07. Very tough technical course for the first 60km then open fire trails for the last 40km.Matt Meckenstock backed up after the Hong Kong 100km TNF finish strong in 11 hrs. Martin Hunt did a great job for the Aussie in the 60km finishing in 8.12.
David Eadie, Melbourne Australia

The course is stunning. Rivals Kepler. Running alongside Tarawera lake and then along Tarawera falls was spectacular. The water is crystal clear. Aide stations were well placed and well stocked. Tree roots, rocks, fallen trees, etc., were everywhere!!! Not to forget the 5+ knee high water crossings. Would highly recommend doing this one next year!!
Kim Eadie, Melbourne Australia

THANK YOU for Dreaming up such an amazing event for us all to enjoy. I would say the hours we trained would equal the hours you spent preparing for this 2012 event. THANK YOU for making the sunshine ALL day. Call me up next year I would like to help with some of the track clearing work. Thank You for your harsh (LOL) email when I wrote to you to say I wouldn't be able to do the Ultra as I only had 1hr up my sleeve. I made it to Kawerau before 9pm and today you wouldn't know this old girl had done an Ultra. Also THANK YOU to your team of helpers, well done.
Wendy Goes, Whakatane

Thank you Paul for organising one of if not THE best running event in New Zealand. The level of energy through out the run was unbelievable thanks to the awesome aid station crew and all the runners. Really enjoyed and took in the talk from UltraStu (Stuart Mills), I think he verbalised intelligently what most of us have experienced during our 'good races'. Congrats for another year of 'best ever' TuM.
Michael Zo – Auckland

Broke toe at 40, got the message at Humphries Bay station that the next 20 where flat, these guys would tell you anything to keep you going, thx. Got from a lady panadol on the road to 60, where St-Johns did the trick to keep me going to finish. So for me a special thanks to the medical teams around the course.
Rik DeSmet, Auckland

A wonderful day out doing the Tarawera Ultra again many thanks to the family for being the perfect crew . Jannine Myers and the WOOT girls where missed this year - I did wear a running skirt in honor ! I also had no nutrition issues this year a big thank you to Tess Geddes .
Virgina Winstone, Christchurch

Paul, that was one hell of a run! I've never in my life been so blown away by the scenery- those falls- mind blowing. Thanks for being so awesome and to all the volunteers, you are all so amazing...thanks so much for being out there.
Nicola Gildersleeve, North Vancouver, BC Canada
(women's winner)

Amazing event, the Vibram Tarawera Ultra Marathon. Highly recommended for all my ultra friends in Asia keen to explore endless forest single track with awesome lake and waterfall views. UTMB points (remember you need 7 now :-) and qualifying event for WS100 (easier course for sub-14 than e.g. HK100) plus ultra trail superstars like Anton Krupicka and Nicola Gildersleeve upfront and personal. Plus a great excuse to visit stunning New Zealand for a holiday.

RD Paul Charteris does a fantastic job. But don't take my word for it, check out some of the comments and pics on the event website as well as this FB group here as well.
Andre Blumberg, Hong Kong

What a great event. Did the 100 this year after completing the 85 last year. The 60 looks really tempting for next year I was so envious of those going back up the track for a swim. Thanks Paul and all the awesome volunteers.
Martin Graham, NZ

Firstly I would like to thank you for such an amazing day out! It was my first ultra (I did the 60km) and I think I'm hooked for life :) You and your team have really created something you should be proud of!
Lissie Henry, Waiuku Auckland

You'll see it took us nearly all day to complete the 60km but we really enjoyed our time out there – and the feed stations along the way were just fabulous. Scenery, weather, location, trails all just great.
Mary Lochead – Auckland

Thank you so much for all of your energy, enthusiasm and organisation for the Tarawera Ultra. You rock!!! It was an amazing race, with lots of amazing stories, from absolutely amazing people J
Rachael Trimble, Tauranga

I just wanted to say thank you for such an awesome day on Saturday again!! Fantastic to be running on those amazing trails, and what a gorgeous day.
Had a blast and loved every minute of it. You do a great job and obviously have an amazing team behind you. Keep up the great work, all the best for 2013 planning and I am a starter for the 100miler if it eventuates:)
Amy Campbell, Auckland

I just wanted to say a big thank you for the ultra on Saturday. I run and finished the 100k and enjoyed every moment of it, except maybe for the cramping part. The course was fabulous, so scenic and gave me the opportunity to discover another part of NZ. The support crew was incredible, there were aid stations everywhere, the course was well marked. I can only imagine how much time and effort you've put in this event, but you can be proud because it was perfect. Thanks a lot and bravo
Phillippe Lacasar

Thank you! Tarawera was the perfect race to pop both my trail race & ultra cherries & kick start a new addiction! Also in hindsight even though it sucked at the time, I am very grateful that you didn't set the 'Loop of Despair' the other way around (long slow climb and steep descent)..that would have hurt so much more! See you next year
Dionette Wilson, Mosman, NSW, Australia

Paul, the TUM is one of the best races I've done. It has to be NZ's premier ultra marathon, with its fantastic course, the beautiful scenery along the way and the amazing aid stations. The field this year was especially inspiring, with so many stellar performances by so many elite athletes. Having said that, there's no denying that the tail enders are equally inspiring for their determination and grit in getting to that finish line. All in all, a world class event! I'll be back.
Jo Petersen, Whakatane

Just wanted to say thanks for putting on a fantastic event that was the first time I had run over 42k (I entered the 60k solo)!! Awesome terrain, weather and great aid stations which was a big help when you are struggling.
Dale Truman, Wellington

I just wanted to say what a great time I had on Saturday doing the 100km. The last 30 were hell on wheels as my legs were in a shocking state, but I still enjoyed every second and step of a wonderful day. The weather was superb, the aid station people were just awesome! and I had the best time ever. I am pretty sure the legs won't handle that first 60km through the forest again, but I'm determined to run the last 30km (which I had to walk) and am going to volunteer my services as a pace runner for 2013! I'm going to get the full 100km run one way or another! Big ups to all involved. Simply superb.
Amber Gladwin, North Shore, Auckland.

After the 1millionth thank you from the participants, the law of diminishing returns might apply to this one. anyway, thanks again for coming up with yet another super event. and I'd just reiterate what we all knew all along since TuM1 - awesome course, fantastic aid stations, unbelievable community, and growing exponentially! my friends who are non-runners -emphasis on 'non-runners' -came back to watch because of TuM's great vibe. just wanted to share with you a short clip made by a non-runner friend -oh I already said that - who thoroughly enjoyed just watching the day unfold. hope to see you again next year. p.s. i took the chicken exit at the 60k mark because I couldn't resist the pulling power of those cool waters. the body was willing but the mind was weak:)
Paul De Vera, Wellington

Overall, I couldn't be happier with my race.  I felt that I did the best I could based on the training that I did, and remarkably, despite (or perhaps because of) the training I was on average pace, faster than last year.  It was immensely satisfying to pull it off, and great great fun along the way.  And very painful too.  Just as it should be.
Mark Colthart, Auckland.

Anton Krupicka, US ultra running super star- "Paul's event is outstanding.  I was extremely impressed with both his organization of the event and the character of the race course.  I had the pleasure of running 23k of the race course trail around Lake Tarawera as part of a relay team and enjoyed it so much that I would very much like to come back in 2013 to run the full 100K.  I think Paul really has a special thing going with this event."

Heather Andrews, yes the Heather behind the "Heather Bars"- "1. No matter what end of the field you are at you are treated well, looked after, and supported through the aid stations. 2. An awesome course for spectators and supporters to see their runners , and to have the ability to have support crew be there for you on the course. Most Ultras that are point to point or a loop you do not get to see you runners inbetween dropping them off at the startline to picking them up at the finishline. 3. Awesome quality and quantity of food at the aid stations. Andrew and I made 1000 muesli bars this year (Heather Bars). 4. Safety. Paul takes no risk to put his runners at harms way. 5. Paul is a wonderful race director, the day was all about the runners and made it our day! 6. Pacers are welcomed. They get their own number and are provided for at the race free of charge.  This race is definitely a MUST DO!!!  Sorry more than 2 points!! I just adore this event."

Mick Donges, Salomon Running Team member and 2012 winner- "It was really great to be a part of the Tarawera Ultra Marathon. The race was very scenic, some great running on nice trails with some class runners from around New Zealand and overseas. Would have loved to stopped and had a good look around at the beautiful scenery but i was too flat stick trying to make my little legs run faster… great atmosphere and a whole extended weekend of festivities and fun. Had a great time, enjoyed meeting many new people. All involved in organising and planning the race did a terrific job"

Andrew Shelly, crewing extraordinaire-"What a scenically spectacular course, and what a superb spectator experience. The atmosphere at the aid stations is great, they are well located, and for the most part easily accessible to crew. We took the time to visit a couple of the later aid stations, watch the runners come through, and offer encouragement"

James Kuegler, NZ rep and joint winner of the 2012TuM 60km- "The Vibram Tarawera Ultra-Marathon is the essence of trail running in New Zealand. The event offers participants a friendly atmosphere, a well run event, and endless runnable trails through lush native bush"

Hi Paul, absolutely awesome event 2 weeks ago. You and your team helped so many of us achieve our goals with many good memories and new friends along the way. Good on you and see you next year.
Doug Strachan


Just wanted to say a huge thank you to you and your team. What an awesome event! I had such a great day and loved every minute of it, I have spread the word to a number of people so please keep up the good work. As for the Heather Bars you had at the aid stations! - God it was good. I can't stop thinking about it. I reckon you should do the event twice a year!!!
- Amy Campbell, Auckland NZ

Just wanted to say that I really enjoyed the run on Saturday. I was in a relay team, but plan to do 60k solo next year. Great trails which were well marked (I didn't get lost!) excellent aid stations, all in all a very well organised day. The maps supplied and info for supporters was well covered. Thanks for a great run.
- Dianne Bulled, Whakatane, NZ

Thanks so much to you and your volunteers on Saturday - that was by far the most stunning trail run I've ever run. What a beautiful place, and what lovely friendly folk! Unfortunately, because I tore my plantar fascia in January, my race preparation was less than ideal, and I decided to withdraw at the 36km checkpoint. My very first DNF ever! That's okay, because it means I just need to come back next year to do it again. :-). We're already telling our trail running mates about how good the event was, Francis said it was leagues better than the Six Foot Track, and the best trail race he's ever completed. Hopefully there will be an even bigger Australian contingent heading over in 2012. Look forward to seeing you next year.
- Audrey Harvey, Sydney, AUS

Thanks for such an enjoyable event last Saturday. Great country, great people and great organisation. All the volunteers were great, but the greatest were the pair on duty at Awaroa at 5pm, particularly the bloke handing out the ice. And then there was the bloke with the watermelon at Tarawera Falls, and the woman who made me the honey sandwich at Okataina. And the girl in the purple dress at the last checkpoint at Tarawera River who was bounding with energy, it was infectious. Having the kids positioned just before the aid stations was a lovely idea, and having music was good too. I am sure that the dance music at Tarawera River helped keep me going. The food and drink provided was great. I ended up surviving on watermelon and coke. I never drink coke usually, but I cannot handle electrolyte drinks and gels in the latter part of long races.
- Susan Rundle

I just wanted to let you know that I had the most fantastic day on Saturday...what a run, just spectacular scenery, exemplary company, so friendly and fun...thankyou for providing such a stellar event for us :) I will most definitely try to fly over the ditch annually for it.
- Chloe Rudkin – Australia.

I ran the 100km on the weekend. I had an awesome time, this was a great event, well run. I achieved my goals and my family came to watch, so thank you for helping to create great memories us.
- Simon McDonnell- Christchurch

A huge congratulations to the team for an outstanding event on Saturday. Everything was more than perfect. The signage for spectators, the friendly and helpful aid stations, the course markings for runners and thevisibility of medical staff made was outstanding and made a huge difference to the event. We particularly enjoyed the new layout for the finish compared to last year and to have you on the mic at the end was a great touch. – Thanks for an awesome day.
- Ryan Park, Tauranga

I just wanted to say a big thank you for all your efforts in organising the Tarawera ultra. I really loved the run, my first time over 80 km's and it's made me very keen to give the 100 a nudge next year.
- Tony Bus, Auckland.

Once again a brilliant event, getting better and better every year!
Just thought I'd mention that among all the great aid stations, there was one that made the Best of All Time list - Humphries Bay. Where else in the world can you rock up to an aid station, have a feed and water bottles filled while listening to Cold Chisel, and then go for a refreshing swim and magically, see one of the crew produce a towel at just the most opportune time? Priceless. One of the all time refreshing swims too.
- Mick Finn, Wellington

First of all, I would like to say a huge thank you for organising such a brilliant event last weekend. It was only my second 100km race and your team made everything so easy and care free - I could just relax and enjoy the run. I've done a lot of events over the past few years, but this was one of the very best - I will be back next year!!
- James Fraser- Wellington

Thanks for making it all possible. What a fantastic event. Managed to convert two non-runners over to the darkside... both vowing to be back next year. And me too!
Kate Taylor

Congrats on a brilliant event. 10/10 for organisation! Aid stations were superb especially the last one. Hearing Abba's dancing queen and seeing fairy lights in the middle of a black forest was surreal and much appreciated! I'll be back next year to do the lot for sure!
Cheers - Alan

A quick "thankyou" for your encouragement and support that you have given me over the last year or so. Tarawera was my main goal for some time (maybe 2 years now), and I have to admit that it was the most challenging, but also rewarding, thing I have ever done.
Plan is to take a month off (maybe swim and ride a little), then sit down and decide "whats next".
- Glenn Larsen – Hamilton

Thanks for a truly awesome event! had deja vu so smiled all the way round, was so sure I'd run the route before but no, except the road in Rotorua Half Iron Man, so, I so knew what to expect, & I also knew the view I'd get & think back to swimming the lake! & running round it. There were just so many good bits,...
- Penny Kirkwood- Auckland.

Thanks mate. Bloody great. Changed my life forever. Time to go for the 100 miles now.
- Brendon Arkwright, Rotorua

Well - for my first ultra - I had a ball! Great aid stations, well organised weather :), surrounded by like-minded nutcases/runners, great trail (aside from that 5km loop - managed to find some sherpas to give me a hand tho). Superb job done by Paul and his merry band of volunteers. So different to running in the city -... definitely keen for next year.
- John Benson Auckland

It was a fantastic event. The course was very challenging but the scenery was beautiful and the aid station volunteers were outstanding!
- Kathleen Lennard

To the very awesome bunch of volunteers. Thanks so much for a truly soul searching day at the office. It was a tough tough day out there but one that had to be done and seen to believed. It really was a privilege to run through such gorgeous parts of godzone!! My quads and my feet may never thank you but I do. Great event well done team!
- Sally, Sydney, Australia

A big thanks for an amazing day! Loved the trails and the Tarawera Falls were incredible. It was my first dabble at an ultra and given the great experience it will not be my last - hope to be back!
- Vicky Plaistowe

Thanks for organising a great event! Superb!!! Awesome single track and well stocked aids stations. Kudos to all the volunteers and supporters you helped shaped the event into what it was. Will definitely try and make the trip back over the Tasman next year.
- Matt Meckenstock, Brisbane, Australia

Thanks to all who were there to help!! Especially the two guys who stopped to help me after I pulled a quad - awesome guys and I didnt get a chance to buy you a beer later!! Finished too!!!
- Nic Porter, Wellington

Thanks for organising a fantastic even! I'll be back for sure. I have to give kudos to the amazing volunteers! They were the friendliest and most on to it group of people I've ever met at an event. Next year the 85K!
- Andrew Eberhard, Auckland

Thanks to the organisers and the volunteers for an awesome event. So scenic, hard and great fun. I'll be back next year to hopefully see the bit I skipped by stopping at the 60k mark!
- Stephen Lukey

First a huge thank you for organising a fantastic event, for my first Ultra I couldn't have asked for anything better, second huge "respect" to all my fellow Ultra runners and the genuine concern they gave as I yelled on the down hills as my quads were exploding. As for the aid stations Fantastic all of you, but the prize must got the aid station blasting ABBA late at night in the forest. The prize must go to the 96k aid station ,blasting "ABBA" out in the middle of the forest! something I will never forget! THANKS
- Aaron McCurdy, Auckland

We've just arrived home after a fantastic weekend. Thank you so much for putting on THE BEST event I have had the privilege of participating in. Just stunning!
- Mark Colthart

Great event organisers. After tasting the Okataina-Tarawera leg this year this old fella is coming out of a lengthy retirement to give the 60Km a crack next year. I've got 10 kilos to lose and some great training ahead!
Mark Copeland, Team Copeland Law

Paul, you broke the little one from Florida in a way she has never been broken before. I am all smiles and so proud and blessed to be part of such an amazing event. STUNNING is an understatement. Thank you for putting on something very special. Everyone I met on the course was friendly and all smiles. Thank you for making my trip to NZ special.
- Kellie Smirnoff, Florida, USA

Thanks to all those who made the event happen. Totally epic day out! I found it pretty tough going for a lot of the way and didn't get past the 60k mark (had entered the 100). Some lessons learned. I'll be back next year to have another crack at the 100!
- Allan Ure

Awesomeness! I can just about walk again now. Thanks to Paul and everyone involved for much for making my first ultra so fantastic....All future races have a lot to live up to!
- Mel Evans, Rotorua

Thanks for an awesome event! Rock on next year! The breakfast this morning was an absolute hit...much better than any normal prize giving!
- Heather Andrews – Tauranga

Wow! Our small group of girls from Japan and USA (girls in skirts) were NOT adequately trained for the type of terrain and hill-climbing that we endured yesterday (our results are indicative of that), but what a fantastic experience. It was much, much harder than we anticipated but the great atmosphere, friendly crew and outstanding scenery. Thanks for a wonderful experience.
- Jannine Myers, USA

Paul and volunteers and runners and crew - thank you for a most excellent adventure!!!
- Barefoot Ted, Seattle, USA

Great to be allowed to run through such beautiful countryside. Thanks to Paul and all involved in putting on this event particularly those manning the aid stations. Congratulations to all the runners and Sam Wreford on his amazing display of stamina. Now I've seen the face of the beast I'll return next year to beat my time. See you all then.
- Gerald Waters

Thanks Paul and all of the volunteers for making it such an amazing day. Without you guys we would have never been able to meet so many new amazing people and push our bodies harder than they have ever been pushed before.
- Michelle D. Auckland.

To all those who organized, all those who sponsored, all those who supported and to all those who ran (ahead,beside and behind!) thank you! magic day =)
- Jodi P. Whakatane

Thanks Paul for putting on a wonderful event. The aid stations rocked and the trail was fantastic. It has now made the top of my "favourite ultra trails" in NZ list. I hope to be back next year.
- Lisa N. Rangiora

Thank you to Paul and everyone involved in organising Saturdays event. It was amazing and incredibly challenging and I'm still reflecting on every step of my 100ks!! The aid stations were such a welcome sight and all the people at them so warm, helpful and supportive. Thank you Thank you! Also to Dr Mick from Ashburton..., the first fellow 100k runner I met at the 60k mark who stuck with me for the next 40ks, you're amazing and made the last half of the day so much easier than it would have been on my own. I think you were right Paul my memory seems to be fading already so I might have to come back next year!!

- Belinda A. Invercargill

What a fantastic run, thank you so much for organising it.Thoroughly enjoyed myself out there, being my first Ultra 100km ultra did not know what to expect but it all went according to plan, no mishaps and I just loved running the dark in the bush, what an experience :). The supporters at the aid stations were b...rilliant so entertaining and supportive, even the ones coming close to midnight as I plodded in, thank you so much. Definitely going to do it again next year. Cheers!

- Jane M. Christchurch

What a fantastic event! Well done to Paul and his army of supporters for making this an amazing experience (although Paul, you're off my Xmas card list for that 5km Awaroa loop). Thanks so much to all who fed and watered us at the aid stations, offered encouraging words and smiles as we plodded past you, to the cheering mob at the finish line, and to Hayden, Warren and his pacer (who'd've thought we had a sprint finish in us after 100km, eh?). Roll on 2011!
- Scott M. Wellington

Paul, Thanks heaps for yesterday. Runners and spectators alike had a great day. Special thanks to the volunteers too. See you next year

- Deion C. Tauranga

Thanks Paul! It was a great event - my first one, and hopefully not my last! Thanks also to all the people at the aid stations along the way - they all did a fantastic job. Thanks again :-)
- Julie D. Auckland

Thank you so much to Paul and all of the volunteers! The volunteers were great and always helpful with info, food, water, kind words, etc. The fans were great too- especially the kids with the "Go Dad" t-shirts, I love the funky chicken! Those dads were also really nice and I enjoyed talking to them while slogging through the 100k. This was my first ultra and I couldn't imagine a better event in any way- from sunrise start to soaking in the pools in the dark. Finally, congrats to all of the racers. Everyone was so friendly and kind to me all day and it never felt like a race, but more of a collective accomplishment. Great job everyone!!!

- Patrick T. Wanganui

Thank you thank you thank you so much. That was a brilliant day. Well done Kerry for taking it out. If you ever get tired of running you should have a crack as a stand up. Will be back next year, for sure!
- Mark C. Auckland

Awesome fun yesterday Paul, still buzzing and that was from the relay event so I can't imagine how you ultra people are feeling, well done all - you are legends in my eyes. Thanks so much for a fantastic event and we'll try to make it an annual fixture from down South.
- Frances M. Christchurch

I just wanted to pass on my sincere thanks and congratulations for such a spectacular event. The route changes from the 60km mark really took the challenge up a notch! Thanks also to all the volunteers – their contribution to the success of the event is inestimable. It must've been a long day for all of them, particularly the two lads out at the 5km forestry loop on the 100km course. I'm already excited about next year and will eagerly await the opening of registrations... The Tarawera is without doubt the best organised, best provisioned, most picturesque, fun and certainly the most challenging ultra NZ has to offer. Long live the Tarawera.

- Justin W. Auckland

What an awesome event that was! Such a friendly atmosphere, great (hilly!) tracks, magnificent aid stations manned by wonderful people, the most incredible views, a real challenge ... you may just see me back some time! My friend and I had a wonderful experience.

- Ingrid T. Rotorua

I have run dozens of ultramarathons around the world. Tarawera is one of the best races going – the combination of aid stations, course and volunteers are world-class.

- Dr. Jo. Whakatane

Thanks for organising a wonderful event. The course was scenic and challenging and we had a blast. Look forward to the next one! :o)

- Vivian Cheng, Wellington

You Rock! You did the most fantastic job with the Tarawera Ultra. Excellent trails & scenery, superb volunteers, and the bestest food ever! It's a sure winner! Please reserve a spot for me next year.

- Peter McHannigan, Tauranga

Having never run a half marathon before let alone a full marathon……and definitely not an ultra….. I was a tad nervous pre event but yourself and everyone involved provided fantastic support. You have an amazing event in, quiet possibly, the most beautiful/idyllic part of the country. I wish you all the success going forward and please get in touch when entries open for 2010! Please pass on my regards to all volunteers/sponsors who helped make the event such a huge success.

- Jimmy Jetpack, Wellington

Paul I can't sum up in words what an outstanding success this event was. You and your ARMY of volunteers did an AMAZING job. What seemed like a logistical nightmare, ran like a well oiled machine. Best trail run in the country. No question.

- Kerry Suter, Hamilton.
Overall Winner. 2009 Tarawera Ultramarathon

I wanted to pass on my congratulations for putting together such a fantastic event. It was astonishingly well organised and I hugely appreciated the opportunity to run such an amazing course. Please pass on congratulations and thanks to your team of helpers, volunteers etc. I really had a great time and am already looking forward to next year.
- Justin Walsh, Auckland

If you want an adventure mixed with scenic views, proper trail tracks (90%) and a perfect organisation, "The Tarawera Ultramarathon" (80km) is the place to be. The first 35 km are up and down around the Blue Lake and at the end is the first food station before you enter the forest again. Between 35 and 55 km it is just incredible hard, think about steep narrow single track up and down with some huge drops, roots and stones everywhere -and you have to be sharp to stay on the track. However, you pass one of the most scenic views; the Tarawera falls.

Around 45 km, I had my most difficult moment. During other endurance events I have hit "the wall" but this was just incredible. From 55 km onwards the roads where proper gravel roads mixed with nice forest runs, but I was not home yet! Paul, the organiser had put surprises at the end, a couple of steep hills to test your limits ...

- Rik De Smet, Whangaparoa

Congrats to Paul Charteris for putting on the inaugural Tarawera Ultramarathon. As a first time ultramarathon trail runner, this was an amazing event to be part of. The scenery was fantastic, the "Californian style" aid stations provided a great supply of food and drink and the best aid station crews you would find anywhere.

It was great to meet so many supportive and social people along the way ~ it seems that ultramarathoners are a friendly, ego free, bunch of people.
If you have ever thought about doing some off road running, in some of the best country NZ has to offer. Thanks to your great team of volunteer and to the guys who kept me laughing for 60kms.

- Anne Bulley, Ohope Beach

It is hard to describe how great it was. I wouldn't have known you were a first time race director given the professional presentation of everything associated with the event. I even treasure my geographx map of the route. It's hard to believe we travelled that far on foot! I second the vote of thanks to the volunteers. What great aid stations! I've never had my CamelBak filled for me before. Special thanks to the helper who plastered me with sun block at Whio Road. The atmosphere, especially at the large aid stations, was fantastic. I could just imagine being a spectator at the Tarawera Falls aid station watching runners pop out of the trail and blink into the carnival scene in the bright sunlight. The bush and lakes in the first half were rivalled by the exotic forest in the second. As much as it was nice to hit the flats it was equally nice to be in the bush. The free hot pools by the finish were icing on the cake.

It was certainly a tough race - my first trail run - but very satisfying to complete it. As I ran it was easy to imagine that I was in one of those U.S. ultras that I have read about in books. Thanks again and I encourage others to enter next year for a real life experience.

- Simon Clendon, Auckland

The Tarawera Ultra was nothing short of awesome (I know I have a tendency of talking them all up... but this one was certainly something special), just like Nathan's events, this one went off like clockwork and Paul Charteris deserves a huge pat on the back for all of the tireless efforts that he put into making this thing happen. The track/course gets a big thumbs up from me, the condition of the track would rival the Kepler in many places. You run past/around four lakes, though vast tracts of native bush.... it was stunning. As you already know, the support was amazing. For us South Island ultra runners it really seemed a bit 'over the top' as this isn't what I've come to expect, even on the Kepler I still run essentially self sufficient, just like you guys. I'm not saying that this is a bad thing (cause it's not - it's great), it's just not what we are usually used to... For instance, there were sweepers on Mountain bikes asking if you were OK and if you wanted anything... now that certainly isn't what I've come to expect, or require, on our usual expeditions...
- Kim Ransfield, Christchurch

I'd just like to say that I had one of the most enjoyable days ever last weekend. It's safe to say that I met a ton of great people along the way and made some friends too. I thought you organised one of the best races I've been to, don't know how else you could improve it..
- Carl Laffan, Lower Hutt

Scenic is an oft-quoted word used to describe nz trails. But, if you have the seasoned adventure runners raving about the course, then it's really something else. Also worth noting is how well thought out the course was -- having aid stations placed at accesible locations to make the event spectator-friendly, but also enabling runners like me to get back to wild trails extremely quick is awesome. Hats off to everyone who made this fantastic event possible!

- Paul De Vera, Wellington


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