FAQ – frequently asked questions

Frequently asked questions about the Tarawera Ultramarathon

Can I get a refund, transfers or sell my entry or defer my entry to the the next year?
You can only get a refund if you withdraw before the stated refund date. There are no transfers, selling of entries or deferring entries to the next year. Please do not ask. Details…


 

How to withdraw
1. If you withdraw DURING the period where you are eligible for a refund.
– Send an email to Paul Charteris that you would like to withdraw.
– Include your bank account number (NZ) and bank account number + SWIFT code / BIC (international) for your refund.
– Include in your email, how much you paid for your entry (in $NZ).
This will automatically remove you from the start-list. No second chances.

2.If you withdraw AFTER the period where you are eligible for a refund.
– Send an email to Paul Charteris that you would like to withdraw. This will automatically remove you from the start-list. No second chances.


How to change my distance, relay team-mates etc.?
This can be done during ‘Update Week’ which will be in the first week in December. Instructions will be given closer to the time.
You can also change your distance at registration on the Friday before race day. A $20 admin fee applies.


 

Road shoes or trails shoes?
Your choice – in general, trail shoes are fine. Only the 2014 Cyclone Lusi course would have been a ‘definite yes’ for trail shoes. See recommendations in the course description.


 

I do not know if I can do this?
That’s the whole point. This is not designed to be an event that you know with certainly you can finish. It is designed to be an adventure that will push many of you to run further than you have before. If you have completed a marathon previously, you are well on track to finish any distance of the Tarawera Ultra. If you have successfully completed an event like the Kepler Challenge, a half Ironman or Coast to Coast, the 100km ultra-distance is well within your grasp. You’ll still have to train diligently though.  If you have a history of tramping in the hills and have strong legs and endurance, you should be able to complete any of the ultra. distances, even with little running background.


 

Can I do training runs on the course?
Most sections of the course (the entire first 60km) are on public land which you may access at any time.

The Tarawera Forest is a private commercial forest and you’ll need a permit to enter. This permit is available from the Kawerau Information Centre. Parts of the Tarawera Forest (Titoki Road, Awaroa Road, Cummings Road, Mangawhio) are part of the forestry estate. You should not enter these areas for training runs since commercial logging operations may be in progress and hunters in the forest at this time of year. River Road in the Tarawera Forest is public.

You may only train on the last 40km of the 100k course on weekend days in the summer and only after the race organisers have marked the route.

Some recommended training runs:

– Follow the Black Track on this map to the far side of the Blue Lake then lop around the lake and follow the black route back home to the Redwoods Visitors centre. This black track run to the far side of the Blue Lake and the loop around the lake follows the Tarawera Ultra. route exactly.

– Miller Road to Lake Okataina and back. This run can be done from the opposite direction. Start at the start of the Western Okataina Walkway and run all the way to Lake Okataina (Okataina Lodge area) and back again. This will give you some decent hills. The track is lightly traveled to expect to be out on your own for most of the day. The water in the creeks is OK to drink.

– Tarawera Falls to Okataina Lodge-return or Tarawera Outlet to Okataina Lodge return.

– Tarawera Forest, there are many nice runs from the finish-line area at Firmin Field, past the golf course and along River Road in the Tarawera Forest.

If you have someone to pick you up, three good one-way runs include:
1. The start to the Okataina Outdoor Education Centre.
2. The Okataina Outdoor Education Centre to Tarawera Falls.
3. The Tarawera Outlet to Kawerau.


 

Do I need headlamps?
The race starts at 6am. Under the Redwoods its very dark at this hour – even though the sun has just risen. Headlamps are recommended. We’ll have someone collect them from you at the water tank (about 5km in).


 

Some competitors, especially for the 100k may finish in the dark. Headlamps should be placed in your drop bags at the Titoki, Awaroa or Fishermans Bridge Aid Stations.

Carrying water?
It is recommended (although not compulsory) to carry water between aid stations. The longest stretch is between the Miller Road Aid Station and Okataina (17km). You will need water here. You can drink most of the natural water on the course – including the streams on the Western Okataina walkway, the creek before Awaraoa Aid Station and the creeks after the Fishermans Bridge and River Road Aid Stations.


 

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
– C. Base Layer Long Top Wool/Polypropylene, Base Layer Long Pants Wool/Polypropylene, Waterproof Jacket (seam-sealed), Thermal Hat (Buff accepted), Thermal Gloves.

Be prepared to bring C with you to Rotorua – just in case.


 

Transport from the 60km finish to Kawerau?
We will be providing buses back to the finish-line. They are free for all runners.


 

Transport from Kawerau back to Rotorua?
If you do not have you own transport, we have buses from the finish line in Kawerau back to the start. Pay for a bus ticket when you sign up online, or pay at registration on Friday before race day ($20). The buses will depart Kawerau every hour from 4pm. The bus will drop you back to the Redwoods and Rotorua Holiday Inn. You will need to show your bus ticket.

There are plenty of cars heading out in the same direction as you, so it will be easy to grab a ride. Car from Kawerau to Rotorua Driving time is 50 minutes. If you have paid your bus money, you are welcome to instead grab a car ride back to Rotorua with other runners and their crew.