Athlete Information

Details for the 2018 event to be confirmed.


Sir Howard Morrison Performing Arts Centre is the venue for the race registration, expo, seminars and briefings on Friday and prize giving on Sunday. Everyone is advised to book accommodation in September or earlier.

Transport to the start-line
We will arrange buses that take you from Rotorua to the start-line in Kawerau on Saturday morning. Details to be confirmed.


Sunrise is at 6:40am. The Redwood Grove is very dark prior to sunrise so having a headlamp is strongly recommended. We will have a volunteer pick up headlamps at the 4km point (at the water tower near Tarawera Road or Blue Lake aid station). You can ditch your named headlamp (use your official TUM headlamp tag, provided on your drop bag label sheets, in your race pack) and surplus clothing (which must also be clearly named/labelled) with the volunteers and pick them up at the Kawerau finish or prize giving. Some athletes purchase cheap headlamps just for the event that they do not label and do not wish to collect after the event. Any unclaimed headlamps will be donated to the local running club about a month after the event.

Weather forecast
Temperatures at the race start at 6am will be around 12-14 degrees Celsius and will warm up quickly. Temperatures in the Tarawera Forest in mid afternoon can exceed 30 degrees. Temperatures will likely be in the 20-25 degree range for most of the day.

Compulsory Gear
In the week prior to the race and at registration, competitors will be advised, and again at the pre-race briefing, what compulsory clothing and equipment items they must carry (based on the expected weather conditions). If there is little risk of bad weather, the most likely Compulsory Gear list will be A.

There are three compulsory gear levels:
– A. No compulsory equipment
– B. Waterproof jacket (seam-sealed).
– C. Base layer long top wool/polypropylene, base layer long pants wool/polypropylene, waterproof jacket (seam-sealed), thermal hat (Buff accepted), thermal gloves.

INSPECTION OF COMPULSORY ITEMS: If compulsory items are required for the race, they will be inspected at race registration. The Race Director may choose to randomly spot check a sample of competitor items on the morning of the event at the race start. At least one random inspection of one or more item(s) will be undertaken along the course for all competitors. Plan ahead and have all items in List C available to bring to Rotorua.

The 2018 Tarawera Ultramarathon will not provide cups at aid stations, in order to reduce waste. Runners are strongly advised to carry their own drinking cup or bottle that they can use at aid stations for the selection of drinks.

We recommend you also carry water between Aid Stations. Optionally (but recommended) you should carry any gels or other form of calories with you between Aid Stations.

Race numbers
Runners of each distance are clearly recognised by their race number and the colour of the numbers.

1-700’s                     102km ultra runners               black bib, white numbers
800-900’s               87km ultra runners                 black bib, yellow numbers
1000’s                      62km ultra runners                 red bib, white numbers
6000’s                     62km relay runners                 blue bib, white  numbers
8000’s                     87km relay runners                 blue bib, white numbers

87/102km pacers have white numbers, same number as their runner. All ultra runners have their name and country flag on their race numbers. All relay runners will have their team name on their race numbers.

You MUST have your race numbers facing the front when you line up at the start. Race numbers must be visible because they are recorded throughout the day. If numbers are not visible, we may need to stop you to check your number. Timing chips are on the back of your race numbers.

Timing Locations
Run over the timing mats at Tikitapu (Blue Lake), Millar Road, Okataina, Humphries Bay, Tarawera Falls, Titoki, Fisherman’s Bridge Aid Stations, and also at the top of the Awaroa loop.

Mobile app and Live Tracking 
The event mobile app is available in both iPhone and Android format. Download from the iTunes store or from the Google Play Store. With limited cell coverage, we will try to upload results as close to real-time as possible. 

Race Safety
Please take care of both yourselves and the other competitors on the course. If someone needs help, please stop and help them. There will be a full safety crew at the race, including outdoor safety specialists, coastguard, search and rescue personnel, emergency doctors, nurses and ambulances. Some volunteers hold first aid qualifications. Safety staff will have radio communications with the Safety Manager and Race Director in case of an emergency. Safety information is printed on the back of your race number.

Relay Teams

  • Only one member of a team needs to be present on Friday to pick up the bib numbers and race programmes for their team. Please bring a  printed copy of the ID of one team member to registration.
  • You still need to bring at least one set of compulsory gear, should it be required for inspection.
  • You can change the name and order of your teammates at registration on Friday. A flat $30 admin. fee covers all the changes you wish to make to a team.
  • Each member of a relay team gets a race number. They are identical and all have your team name on them. Check that you have the correct amount of race numbers in your race pack (two/four for 87km relay; two for 62km relay).
  • The timing chip is on the back of your race number.
  • 87km relay teams swap at Tikitapu (Blue Lake), Okataina and Tarawera Falls. 62km relay teams swap runners at The Outlet.
  • All relay team runners will receive a medal at the finish-line in Kawerau.
  • If you are in a fast team, you may wish to send teammate #4 straight to Tarawera Falls since any team members at Okataina will need to catch the shuttle bus and then have a long drive in to the Tarawera Falls area.
  • Team members can run more than one leg if a team-member has dropped out.
  • Two cars per relay team is a good idea to get around the course efficiently (especially for fast teams).
  • There are no shirts given to relay team runners, but you can purchase a souvenir Tarawera shirt at the Expo on Friday.
  • All race rules and cutoff times apply to relay teams as well as solo ultra runners.
  • Relay runners are not allowed to have pacers. Relay team runners do not need drop bags.

Course Markings
Only follow the fluoro pink/orange ribbons in the trees, and red arrows. There should be no other markings. Any turns should be obviously marked with these pink/orange ribbons and/or red arrows. The wrong way will be indicated with hazard or warning tape. Glowsticks, fluoro ribbons/cones and glow spray will help to mark the course from the Awaroa Aid Station to the Kawerau finish line.

Aid Stations
The Aid Stations are very generously stocked with food and drinks – we will have Tailwind, lollies, chips (chicken, salted and salt & vinegar flavours), pretzels, sandwiches (with Pic’s really good Peanut Butter, honey, jam and Nutella), fruit (bananas, watermelon, oranges, apples), ice, water, Coke, Mountain Dew, and Bundaberg ginger beer. The order of the Aid Station offerings will be: food > fruit > drink containers to fill your bottles > Gurney goo and sunblock etc.

We will have no drinking cups at aid stations this year. In an effort to cut down on vast quantities of waste. Please bring a cup with you if you wish to drink at the aid stations. We will be selling a foldable carry-cup at the Tarawera store at the Expo on Friday.

Signs will be placed 200 metres before the Aid Station. Exit signs will indicate distance to the next Aid Station.

There are six toilets at the Redwoods Visitors Centre and there will be extra portaloos available. There are also toilets at Blue Lake Aid Station, Steep Street Reserve (Okareka), Boyes Beach Reserve (Okareka), DOC Campground (Okareka), Millar Road (aid stations and 62km start), Okataina Aid Station, Humphries Bay Aid Station, The Outlet Aid Station (over the bridge), Tarawera Falls and the finish line in Kawerau. There will be toilet facilities at all aid stations.

You may be be sharing these trails with hikers and trampers. Please make sure you move off the trail to allow these other users to pass by. When passing slower runners, please indicate that you’d like to pass by saying “passing on your left (or right)” when overtaking.

Littering and pooing / peeing
Do not drop rubbish at Aid Stations or on the trails. Rubbish bins are provided at all Aid Stations. Anyone caught deliberately littering may be disqualified from this race and banned from future events. If you will generate waste on the run, please use a small ziplock bag to stash your trash and carry it with you.

Sometimes you will need to poo or pee when you are far away from a toilet. When that happens, you should step well away from sight (25 metres) and very far from waterways. Bury any waste by digging a deep hole with the heel of your shoe. Completely bury all waste.

Yes, you may listen to music during the run. Don’t use them on the public road at Okareka, as you will be running alongside cars.

Running extra (or Less) Distance
If you have entered the 62km, you do not have the option to upgrade or downgrade distance on race day.

87km and 102km runners – you must let the Aid Station volunteers at Titoki know if you decide to run further/less. To be fair, please pay the difference at the finish line (or Sunday morning) if you ran further. Comparing the entry form to the results – we’ll easily know who you are.

If you entered the 102km and you complete the 87km instead, your result will not show as a DNF. Your results will be your place (and time) for that distance. If you drop at any point during the race, you must let the nearest Aid Station or a course marshal know that you have pulled out of the race.

Unlike previous years, anyone from any solo distance who ends their race at Tarawera Falls will DNF, as this is no longer a finish line.

Any runner who is unable to finish the run must personally inform the nearest Aid Station or Event Staff of their decision to withdraw and make sure their race number is recorded. We will use forest radios to try and contact your crew and it is essential your emergency contact person can be reached. If you do not have a crew, we will do our best to transport you to where you need to go. Usually you won’t have to wait long but there is a chance you may have to wait several hours for a non-emergency lift back to Event HQ.

Athletes who leave the race without officially withdrawing pose a serious risk to the event safety and will trigger an immediate Search and Rescue response. The race reserves the right to pass on any costs associated with an unnecessary search effort if a runner has not bothered to notify Event Staff of their withdrawal before leaving the race.

Drop Bags
A support crew is certainly not necessary in the event. Drop bags are OPTIONAL for solo ultra runners and can contain your own goodies (gels, food, change of socks, shoes, shorts, Gurney Goo etc.).

For solo ultra runners, you will be provided with an official drop bag label sheet in your race pack.  Once you have received your drop bag labels, please attach them to the relevant bag for the correct Aid Station.  You should then put your filled and labelled drop bags and finish line bags in the correct trailer or pile for the correct Aid Station. We will provide labels for all drop bags – these MUST be used, otherwise we will not accept your drop bag (our volunteers will be checking).  The drop bags must be a soft, reasonable size – do not pack the kitchen sink. Leave your drop bags with us in the correct truck or van at race registration before 8pm Friday. Please do not use the drop bag service for any Aid Stations where your support crew will be definitely attending.

If you have a drop bag at an Aid Station you will be asked to move it from the ‘unused pile’ to the ‘used pile’ even if you did not use your drop bag. This allows us to transport your drop bags quickly back to the Kawerau finish line. This will help allow the drop bag tent to remain orderly for the benefit of runners yet to arrive. Drop bags must not contain any glass. All liquids must be secure.

Attach the correct label from the official drop bag label sheet with the corresponding Aid Station:

LAMP – Black – Headlamp*
BLU – Yellow – Blue Lake
OTA – Pink – Okataina
TAR – Blue – Tarawera Falls
TITO – Red – Titoki Road**
AWA – Green – Awaroa**
FSH – Purple – Fisherman’s Bridge**
FIN – Orange – Kawerau finish line***

* Headlamp
This sticker is not for a drop bag but for your headlamp, should you wish to leave it with our volunteers near the water tower at Tarawera Road.  The labels will help us identify you when you arrive at the Kawerau finish line to collect your headlamp (and other gear).

** 87/102km runners: Running at Night
If you think you’ll need a headlamp for the finish, you can put it in your Titoki, Awaroa or Fisherman’s Bridge drop bag. Or your crew can deliver a headlamp to you at the Titoki, Fisherman’s Bridge or River Road Aid Stations.

*** Kawerau finish line
Pack a change of clothes, comfy shoes/jandals, towel etc. We will have a shuttle to take you to the free Kawerau hot pools and free hot showers. Pack some money for hot food and drinks. Remember to put your bus ticket in your finish line bag. Extra bus tickets will be available at Registration ($20).

We will have Tarawera burgers, chicken sandwiches, vegetarian food, pulled pork rolls and real fruit icecream available to buy. There will be live music, a big screen broadcasting from the course and plenty of entertainment options at the finish line.

DROP BAG COLLECTION – Drop bags from across the course will be available at the finish line.  You will be able to collect these by providing your race number to our volunteers at the Drop Bag Collection desk in the building near the finish line. There are two vouchers on the official drop bag label sticker sheets for you to give your support crew members to be able to collect your gear on your behalf.  No one other than you (with your race number) or supporters with those tickets will be able to collect drop bags on your behalf.

Cut-off Times
The cut-offs and required pace will be “extremely generous” meaning you have ample time to walk tough sections, stop at Aid Stations and still get through. We have no intention of pulling people off the course for going slow.

At the same time, we do not want to have runners in the forest at 2am with the possums. These cut-offs represent an average of around 11:30 minutes per km pace for the 87km and 102km, or 14:30 per km for the 62km. In other words, just over seven and a half hours for a marathon.

Cut-off times reflect the deadlines for LEAVING the Aid Station. If you return to an Aid Station after the cut-off, you will be pulled from the run. The Aid Stations will strictly enforce the cut-off times. Anyone leaving an Aid Station after the cut-off time will be disqualified. This rule is for the safety of all participants. IF YOU MISS THE CUT-OFF, YOU MUST STOP. Significant sanctions will apply to anyone breaking this rule.

If you do not make the Titoki 102km cut-off time, you will need to finish on the 87km course. You cannot complete the 102km.

Note: there is NO Finish line cut-off time for any of the distances. If you make it through the last cut-off time earlier in the race, you can finish your event.

Podium Spots and Race Records
Runners who switch distances on race day and finish in the top five (men or women) for that distance will still be recorded for their time and place in that distance on the website. For all media, prize giving ceremony, place-getter medals, and official Tarawera Ultra communications, only those who entered that distance will be acknowledged as being in the top five per distance/gender.

This is a running event, not a walk! Unless you are an exceptional walker (we have had one) you cannot expect to walk the entire course and still finish within the cut-offs. All runners will walk the course at times, especially the uphills. Runners will probably walk more later in the event as fatigue sets in.

Kawerau Finish Line
There is ample parking at the Kawerau finish-line and a guaranteed party atmosphere. The race will provide free drinks (a locally-brewed Croucher Beer, Monteiths Cider, Bundaberg ginger beer and other drinks) and fruit for each finisher. Meals and drinks will be available to purchase so pack some money in your finish line bag for extra food and drinks. Hot food will be available until 10pm on race night – stay behind and cheer in the final runners to the finish of an epic day! Sheldon and Stacey from Sequoia Eatery will have delicious hot food at the finish-line with more than 15 different menu items. Choose from our Frites Menu, our Burger Menu, Pasta Menu and Kids Menu. Bring your appetite!

Lost Property
Lost gear, start line headlamps and drop bags will be transported back to the Kawerau finish area and will be available throughout the day. Labelling or naming your gear is essential. Any unclaimed gear will be at prize giving on Sunday. We recommend that you claim all of your lost gear before leaving town.


Qualification Runs for other major world ultra races. 

The Tarawera Ultramarathon 102km distance and the 100 Miler are qualifying races for the Western States 100 Mile Endurance Run. Runners who complete the 102km race within 16 hours or the 100 mile race within 30 hours will qualify to enter the WSER lottery.
The Tarawera Ultramarathon (62, 87km and 102km) and the 100 miler count for points towards qualifying for UTMB events.  See points value and  qualification requirements.


The guiding principles of this race are enshrined in the charter of the International Trail Running Association.

The purpose of the performance rules for this event is to ensure the run’s integrity as a test of individual performance, providing equal conditions for all. The guiding principles are as simple as: play fair, be safe, and respect the land. Violations of any rules may be grounds for disqualification for one or more years, or other sanctions such as time penalties, fines, and/or disqualification from awards. In the case of very serious breach of these rules, Race Directors of the Ultra-Trail World Tour will be informed of the misconduct with possible sanctions across a number of events.

  • There will be no unofficial runners.
  • Each runner’s official race number must be worn prominently on the front of the body and must be easily visible at all times.
  • Runners must follow the marked trail at all times. Any runner departing from the official trail must return to the point of departure on foot before continuing.
  • Each runner must complete the entire course under his or her own power. No physical or mechanical aids are allowed, including but not limited to mountain bikes or boats.
  • Except in case of injury, distress or medical emergency, runners may not accept pushing or pulling assistance in any form from anyone between checkpoints.
  • Runners may not store supplies of any kind along the trail.
  • Littering of any kind is prohibited. Please respect the natural beauty of our trails and the right of everyone to enjoy them.
  • Runners must refrain from any act of bad sportsmanship.
  • Smoking is not permitted at any of the checkpoints or along the trail. Anyone who smokes in the Tarawera Forest will be immediately removed by security. Both the smoker and their runner will receive a permanent lifetime ban from this event.
  • Any runner who is unable to finish the run must personally inform the nearest Aid Station captain of the nearest checkpoint of their decision to withdraw, and make sure their race number is recorded.
  • Runners who leave the course without turning in their race number will be classified as “lost”. The runner will be contacted on their cellphone and their emergency contact will be called. If there is no response from either party or the emergency contact does not know the status of the runner, a search will be activated. Costs for searching for any such runner will be charged to the runner.
  • Be respectful of all other users, such as recreational walkers.
  • The runner is responsible for the actions of their support crew. Support crews must comply with all instruction from event staff and officials. The runner may be penalised or disqualified for actions or breaches of the rules by their support crew.
  • The Performance Enhancing Drug policy is on the event website. All runners must comply.
  • Race management reserves the right to drug test any athlete competing in this event.


Tarawera Ultra – Anti-Doping Policy and Statement.

As a privately-owned event and a major event in the sport of trail ultra-running globally, we are working hard to ensure our sport remains clean of performance enhancing drugs. To this end, race management is in regular communication with Drug Free Sport NZ regarding anti-doping programmes. From these communications, we have taken the following steps:

  1. Race management reserves the right to drug test any athlete competing in this event – from the time of registration to the completion of the event. Agreement to submit to drug testing is a condition of entry. Any testing will be conducted in a manner consistent with the requirements of the World Anti-Doping Code including the WADA Prohibited List. (See link below for more information on those requirements.)
  2. No athlete that is currently serving a sanction for violating sports anti-doping rules may enter the Tarawera Ultramarathon or Tarawera Trail Marathon &50km.
  3. No athlete that was issued a sanction between 1 January 2013 and 31 Dec. 2014 for violating sports anti-doping rules may enter the Tarawera Ultramarathon or Tarawera Trail Marathon &50km until 1 Jan. 2018.

Race management will disqualify the entry of any athlete violating (2) or (3) who attempts to enter these events.

Race management will provide anti-doping education to our participants, in conjunction with Drug Free Sport NZ. Considerable resources for athletes, coaches and support staff is on the Drug Free Sport NZ website:


Preventive and Research Actions Concerning Health Policy.

The organisation decided to set up preventive and research actions concerning health policy during the Tarawera Ultra Marathon These voluntary actions have neither the vocation nor the competence to be substitutes for national and international regulations concerning  anti- doping, but aim to strengthen the medical supervision that the organisation wishes for. They are managed jointly by the ITRA (International Trail Running Association), the Ultra Trail World Tour (UTWT) and the association Athletes For Transparency (AFT). These voluntary actions are led by a Medical Commission consisting of doctors who can take advice from the experts of their choice and are, in particular, asked to give consultative advice to the race jury on the medical state of participants.

Each runner is free to:

  1. Declare the following information to the medical commission :
  • any medical history and/or pathology in particular those which may increase risk during the sport
  • the regular use of treatments and medicines during the 15 days prior to the start of the race
  • all requests for or use of medicines subject to a Therapeutic Usage Exemption (TUE).

The declaration of this information to the medical commission must be made through each runner’s ITRA health page which each runner can create free of charge on the ITRA website: (To open an account is free of charge and is necessary in order to access the health page).

The medical information declared on the pages is accessible only to the Medical Commission and the organisation’s own medical team.

  1. Accept to submit any urine, and/or blood, and/or capillary, and/or saliva samples and the associated analyses requested by the Organisation’s Medical Commission, on the understanding that the costs for the sampling and analyses are covered, directly, by the Organisation.
  2. To accept to answer any request that the Medical commission may make based on information that they have collected, in order to discuss their ability or not to participate in the race for which they are registered . As a result of the meeting, the Medical Counsel may suggest that the race Jury exclude the runner from the race.
  3. Accept the use of data concerning the results of research, while knowing that the data used will be strictly anonymous. According to the data protection act, the runner will have a right of access, rectification and opposition to the data concerning them. The Organisation’s Medical Commission will be the entity through whom the runner can exercise this right.