2016 Schedule

Schedule for race week: Thursday 4th – Sunday 7th February 2016

race-rogramme-coverThe Tarawera Ultramarathon is a four-day long ‘race week’ starting on Thursday morning and now ending on Sunday afternoon. The event falls during Waitangi weekend – New Zealand’s national holiday. Rotorua will be busy – so be prepared.



Thursday February 4th

Scenic Boat Cruise on Lake Tarawera
When: Departs 11.30am
Where: Departs from The Landing, Lake Tarawera. Limited to 50 people total.
Cost: Adults $80, children 12 yrs and under $40 or a family rate, 2 adults, 2 children (12yrs and under) $200.

This is a wonderful opportunity for you to explore some of the most remote and inaccessible parts of the Tarawera Ultramarathon course – by boat, hang out with some famous runners and meet the organisers. Lunch is included.

The tour leaves and returns to The Landing on Lake Tarawera. This includes a ‘get on and off’ at Humphries Bay and the Outlet for a recce of the course including the isthmus between Humphries and Okataina and part of the Tarawera Waterfalls Track. The tour concludes at Te Rata Bay – Hot Water Beach for a hot soak or a cold swim. Essentials – Swimming outfit, towel, camera.

Book online: taraweraultra.myshopify.com/collections/boat-trip

The Great Geyser Rogaine
A one hour (approx.) rogaine run in the geyser field and forest – in teams of up to five.
When: 5:30pm – Thursday 4th February
Where: Outside Te Puia, Rotorua.
Cost: FREE. Open to everyone.

The tradition continues with your chance to run with some of the world’s greatest trail runners at our traditional Thursday evening run.

A rogaine is a ‘treasure hunt’ completed in teams, where you’ll be given a map with a number of points to find. The highest value points are placed the furthest away. You’ll have a fixed time to get as many points as you can within the allotted time (around one hour). For every minute that your team arrives after the cut-off time, you lose points. This year’s rogaine starts and ends in the Te Puia geyser field.

The rules? Anything goes! Once out of the geyser field you do not need to stick to the tracks – you can jump over logs, run straight up the hills and get yourselves hopelessly lost – it’s all part of the fun. Team up with your friends, grab a famous runner (or two!) and speed off into the forest.



Steambox hangi dinner at Te Puia
When: 7:15pm – Thursday 4th February
Where: Te Puia, Hemo Road, Rotorua.   www.tepuia.com.  Cost TBC

The kai (food) on offer will be a delicious selection of chicken, beef, lamb, corn, kumara, pumpkin, potato, cabbage, watercress, and gourmet bread stuffing. These delicacies are placed inside a hangi basket and placed in the ground where a constantly active natural geothermal steam vent opening cooks your kai the authentic way. Also served with plenty of fresh salads, kaimoana (seafood) and desserts.

2016-maraeFriday 5th February

Official Race Welcome
 8:30am – Friday 5th February
Where: Te Aronui a Rua Marae, Te Puia, Hemo Road, Rotorua

FREE for all registered athletes. Friends and family pay the standard Te Puia rates. More info at www.tepuia.com.

Haere mai – Welcome to Rotorua, New Zealand! The official welcome to the event will be a Powhiri (welcome) at Te Aronui a Rua Marae, Te Puia, Rotorua. In the traditional style of the people of the Te Arawa tribe, you will be welcomed onto the marae (meeting house). It is an honour for the event to be welcomed onto such a magnificent and sacred site. You will be welcomed by Her Worship, Steve Chadwick, Mayor of Rotorua. The official 2016 race photograph will take place in front of the marae immediately after the welcome. Te Puia is a 10-15 minute walk from the Rotorua Holiday Inn.

Event Expo
When: 12 noon to 7pm – Friday 5th February
Where: Pohutu Cultural Theatre, Rotorua Holiday Inn. 10 Tryon Street, Rotorua.

The Race Expo will be open during this time so you can find all the latest and greatest stuff in the world of trail running, including specials from Marmot Clothing, Hoka One One, Ultimate Direction, Hammer Nutrition and Buff Headwear. There will also be exhibitions and deals from Te Puia and the Rotorua i-Site Visitor Information Centre.

You can pick up your Tarawera Forest permit from here too. Croucher Brewing will be offering free samples of their craft beers to help settle your pre-race nerves.

The Tarawera Store will be open, selling Tarawera Ultra branded Marmot shirts, singlets, skirts and shorts, Tarawera medal holders, spare race programmes and wall art. There will be wallplanners, posters and maps.


Race Briefing #1
When: 12:00 – 12:45PM –  Friday 5th February
Where: Te Puna Aroha Room. Rotorua Holiday Inn.

Who: Paul Charteris, Tim Day, representatives of landowners along the Tarawera Ultramarathon course, and our Medical Director. Race briefing for runners and their crew. This covers the course, race rules, drop bags, relays, Aid Stations, spectating and crewing, travel times. Seating is limited to 300 so we will repeat the briefing at 3PM and again at 6PM. You will also get to meet the Race Directors of the Ultra-Trail World Tour.

Repeated at 3PM and 6PM.

Elite Athlete Q&A
When: 12:45-1:30PM – Friday 5th February
Where: Te Puna Aroha Room. Rotorua Holiday Inn.

Moderated by the ever-entertaining and knowledgeable Kerry Suter (2X Tarawera champion) from SquadRun and Jo Brischetto from Summit Sisters, Katoomba, NSW. The elite athlete question and answer session will be your chance to ask some of the world’s top runners about their training philosophy, race strategy, nutrition, shoe choice, recommended beer… This session is always a favourite. Your chance to learn from the best.


marty-200Dr Marty Hoffman – Ultra Running Medical research to date
When: 1:30-2:15 PM – Friday 5th February
Where: Te Puna Aroha Room. Rotorua Holiday Inn.

A rare chance to learn from one of the world’s foremost authorities in ultra running medical research. Marty is Professor of Physical Medicine at the University of California Davis, Director of Research for the Western States Endurance Run, and Chief Medical Officer for the Ultra Medical Team. He has published over 100 original scientific publications mostly related to applied exercise physiology with focus on human locomotion, human performance and exercise-associated hyponatremia.

heather-200Heather “Anish” Hikes  –  Redefining Happily Ever After
When: 2:15-3PM – Friday 5th February
Where: Te Puna Aroha Room. Rotorua Holiday Inn.

Heather, known as Anish on trails, completed her “Triple Crown” of Backpacking in 2006 at the age of 25. She completed the 2,100 mi long Appalachian Trail in 2003, the 2,600 mi long Pacific Crest Trail in 2005, and the ~2,600 mi long Continental Divide Trail in 2006. She subsequently took up ultra’s, completing six 100 mile races since August 2011 as well as dozens of 50k and 50 mi events. She has attempted the Barkley Marathons twice. She is well known for setting the overall self-supported Fastest Known Time (FKT) speed record on the Pacific Crest Trail in 2013. In 2015 she once again made FKT history, setting the overall self-supported FKT on the Appalachian Trail.

Race Briefing #2
When: 3 – 3:35 pm –  Friday 5th February, (Repeat of Race Briefing #1)
Where: Te Puna Aroha Room. Rotorua Holiday Inn.

Trails In Motion Film Festival, 2016
When: 4-6pm – Friday 5th February
Where: Te Puna Aroha Room. Rotorua Holiday Inn.

In 2016, Trails In Motion Film Tour will once again bring a collection of the finest trail running films to passionate audiences around the world. There will be a varied montage of high-quality film content from dynamic filmmakers in this genre – a visual and social celebration of the sport.

Race Briefing #3
When: 6 – 6.35pm –  Friday 5th February. (Repeat of  Race Briefing #1)
Where: Te Puna Aroha Room. Rotorua Holiday Inn.

Race Registration
When: 2 pm to 7pm – Friday 5th February
Where: Pohutu Cultural Theatre, Rotorua Holiday Inn. 10 Tryon Street, Rotorua.

  • Pick up your race packs and race numbers during this time. No race numbers or timing chips will be handed out on race day morning. If you cannot make it on Friday afternoon – make sure someone else can pick up your race pack for you. They will need a printout of your race registration or a copy of your photo ID.
  • We will check the photo ID of all runners when picking up their race pack.
  • Make sure you queue up in the right line – there will be signs above the registration desk in alphabetical order, by surname (separate queue for relay teams).
  • Your timing chip is on the back of your race number.
  • Your race number, race programme, official drop bag labels, Hammer gels and Endurolyte Fizz will be in your race packs.
  • Make sure a volunteer records that you have received your race pack. Make sure your race number is in your race pack.
  • Drop bag labels will be given to you at race registration, in your race pack. You MUST use the official TUM drop-bag labels if you wish to use drop bags this year – our volunteers will be checking that you have the correct labels.  We will not be accepting any drop bags without the official labels.  Please leave your drop bags with the appropriate truck or van before 7pm. These will be in the carpark outside the Holiday Inn.
  • You must indicate if you have decided to change your race distance, relay team name or team members (and pay the $30 admin fee). There will be a change-over desk at registration.
  • Athletes’ Emergency Contact. We will check the phone number of your emergency contact at race registration. This must be a contact who can be reached on race day.
  • Volunteers (including Tim and Paul) will be on hand to answer questions during the race check-in on Friday afternoon and during the pre-race briefing. Ask lots of questions!
  • If you do not register before 7pm on Friday, you DO NOT RACE the following morning. There will be no exceptions.
  • 85/100km runners must weigh-in at the room behind the registration area between 2 and 7pm.
  • Research participants must check-in to the research area at the Rotorua Holiday Inn between 2 and 7pm.

Saturday 6th February: Race Day

When: Race starts at 6am – Please aim to be at the start line no later than 5.20am
Where: The Redwoods. Longmile Road, Rotorua.

Sunday 7th February:

When: 11AM-12:30pm – Sunday 7th February
Where: Pohutu Cultural Theatre, Rotorua Holiday Inn.

FIFTY – The Movie. World Premiere Screening
When: 1:30 PM to 3:30 pm – Sunday 7th February
When: Pohutu Cultural Theatre, Rotorua Holiday Inn.

This is the World Premiere for the long awaited movie about the unbelievable Partners Life High Five-0 Challenge – the most audacious feat of endurance ever attempted on New Zealand soil. It is going to look incredible on the Big Screen.

Be amongst the first people on the planet to see this stunning, emotionally charged and epic documentary that will be setting the adventure world on fire at international Film Festivals during 2016 and 2017. Includes a pre-screening introduction by the Chief Nutter himself, Mal Law and the film’s Producer.

Copies of the movie on DVD will be offered for sale after the screening. Spot prizes from Marmot and other sponsors of the Partners Life High Five-0 Challenge will be drawn and handed out.

World Premiere screening of Mal Law's Fifty - The Movie