Athlete Information

12th annual Tarawera Ultramarathon | Rotorua New Zealand

Event week schedule | 21km | 50km | 102km | 100 Miler | Crewing and Supporting

Race Director BBQ
Wednesday 5 February, 5:30pm
Brought to you by Rotorua Trail Running Club, join Tim Day and your fellow Tarawera athletes for a BBQ at Paradise Valley Springs. No formalities, just come for the food, drink & good times.

COST: $35 per adult, $10 per child. Limited to 60 people – purchase from your MyEvents account
MEET: Paradise Valley Springs – 467 Paradise Valley Road, Paradise Valley, Rotorua

Scenic Boat Cruise
Thursday 6 February, 10:00am to 2:00pm
Join Tarawera Ultramarathon Race Founder, Paul Charteris, and 50 of your fellow trail runners on an unforgettable day exploring Lake Rotoiti by boat. Lake Rotoiti offers a truly outstanding New Zealand experience. Discover beautiful sandy coves, lake edge thermal hot springs and cultural sites rich in history and legend. There will be plenty of time for swimming at secluded beaches and soaking in the hotpools, High tea included.

COST: $130 per person. Limited to 50 people – purchase from your MyEvents account
MEET: The Finish Line area at the Lakefront Reserve at 9:20am to carpool to the lake. Alternatively, self-drive to Yacht Squadron in Okawa Bay, Okawa Bay Road, Lake Rotoiti, Rotorua, New Zealand

Race Expo
Friday 7 February
9:00am to 9:00pm. Lakefront Reserve, Lakefront Drive, Rotorua. There will be Tarawera merchandise plus sponsors products at the Expo.

Athlete Check-In
Friday 7 February
9:00am to 9:00pm. Lakefront Reserve, Lakefront Drive, Rotorua.

Saturday 8 February – 21km Race Only
7:00am to 9:00am. Lakefront Reserve, Lakefront Drive, Rotorua.

  • You can enter a race onsite on Friday 7th February from Athlete Check-in at the Lakefront Reserve.
  • Bring your Photo ID.
  • If the mandatory gear is required, you must bring this to check-in for inspection. Alternatively, if you have had your gear pre-checked then you only need to bring your certificate that shows your gear has passed the inspection.
  • Your timing chip is on the back of your race number.
  • Do not bend or break your race number and make sure it is visible and facing forward on race day.
  • Drop bag labels will be in your race pack. Drop bag labels will be given to you at race registration. You must use the official drop-bag labels if you wish to use drop bags – 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 in the registration hall before athlete check-in closes.
  • Safety information is printed on the back of your race number.
  • All drop bags and headlamps must be labelled (we provide pre-printed labels for you and your supporters).
  • For medical and safety reasons, all 102km and 100 Miler runners are weighed at athlete check-in.
  • 100 Miler pacers must attend Athlete Check-in with their runner and have their mandatory gear inspected.
  • Athlete 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.
  • If you do not check-in before 9:00pm on Friday (for 50km, 102km and 100 Miler runners), you will not race the following day. For 21km runners, if you do not check-in before 9:00am on Saturday 8th February, you will not get to start the race.

Start Times 

100 Miler 
Race start for the Miler is 4:00am Saturday at Te Puia. There is no transport to the start line, but ample parking is available. There will be free post-race shuttles from 8:00pm Saturday to 4:00pm Sunday in rotation as a hop on/off bus down Fenton Street. Detailed 100 Miler info.

Race start for the 102km is 7:00am Saturday at Firmin Field, Kawerau. An optional bus will transport you to the start-line. The bus fare is included in your race entry. The bus is for runners only. Your race number is your bus ticket. Buses will depart from the Lakefront Reserve (Finish Line) from 4:30 am to 5:15 am on Saturday.  If you have friends and family as support crew, you are welcome to drive to Kawerau. Allow an hour to get from Rotorua to the start-line, as you will be sharing the road with 20+ buses. Detailed 102km info.

Race start for the 50km is 7:00am Saturday at Te Puia. There is limited buses available for the 50km start from 5:45am – 6:15am leaving from the Lakefront Reserve (Finish Line). The bus fare is $10. If you don’t wish to take the bus then there is ample parking at Te Puia to drive to the start line. Note: there is no post race shuttle to take you back to Te Puia. Detailed 50km info.

Race Mass start for the 21km is 10:00am at the Blue Lake Reserve. There is a bus option for the 21km start from 8:00am – 9:00am leaving from the Lakefront Reserve (Finish Line). The bus fare is $10. If you don’t wish to take the bus then there is ample parking at Blue Lake to drive to the start line. Note: there is no post race shuttle to take you back to the Blue Lake Reserve. Detailed 21km info.

Race Day Notes

  • The finish line for all distances is at the Lakefront Reserve, Rotorua.
  • If we require mandatory gear – we will inspect EVERY runner at a checkpoint.
  • You can leave drop bags with us at the four start lines and also at various aid stations on the course and the finish line. We will transport drop bags to the finish line.
  • Pick up your drop bags from the finish-line by showing your race number or handing in the tab that shows your runner’s number.
  • Be safe and look after each other at all times.

All 100 Mile athletes will need a headlamp at the race start. You can drop your named headlamp at any aid station if you wish, but you must carry a lamp at all times (use your official headlamp tag, provided on your drop bag label sheets, in your race pack). Surplus clothing (which must also be clearly named/labelled) can be left with the volunteers at the start or first aid station and can be picked up at the finish or prize giving. Almost all 100 Mile athletes will be running through Saturday/Sunday night and will need headlamps.

Sunrise is at 6:40am. 21km and 50km athletes will not need a headlamp at their race start. 102km athletes may need a headlamp for the first 10 minutes. Note: If you think you will be running in the dark on Saturday night, please pack a headlamp in your drop bag, have one with your crew/pacer or carry a headlamp with you. It will get dark from around 8:30pm.

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 race.

Weather Forecast
Temperatures at the race start will be around 12-14 degrees Celsius and will warm up quickly. Temperatures around Blue Lake and Okareka can exceed 25 degrees. Temperatures will likely be in the 20-25 degree range for most of the day.

Mandatory Gear
The 2020 Tarawera Ultramarathon mandatory gear requirement for athletes in each race is listed below. Please remember that these are the MINIMUM gear requirements you must carry. If you would normally take something extra on a run of this duration, you should still take it. Every runner should plan to carry drink and food between aid stations to suit the conditions.

All mandatory gear listed below will be inspected before athletes (and pacers for the 100 Mile race) can pick up their race bib. This can either be done pre-event at an Official Gear Check Store (any Macpac store in New Zealand or Australia) or at Athlete Check-in.

No mandatory gear required.

If you would normally take something extra on a run of this duration, you should still take it.

All 50km runners leaving the Blue Lake aid station after 6pm must carry the following mandatory gear for the rest of the race:

  • Base layer long sleeve thermal top
  • Thermal hat (buff accepted)

You can choose to carry this gear with you for the duration of the race or you can pick it up from your drop bag at the Blue Lake if you are there after 6pm.

If you do not have this gear with you when you exit the Blue Lake aid station after 6pm you will be withdrawn from the race.

If you would normally take something extra on a run of this duration, you should still take it.

Some runners in the 50km will require a headlamp to complete the race. We strongly advise you take one with you, as the forest trails are very dark at night!

All runners leaving Okataina aid station after 4pm, or Blue Lake aid station after 8pm must carry the following mandatory gear for the rest of the race:

  • Base layer long sleeve thermal top
  • Thermal hat (buff accepted)
  • Waterproof jacket (seam-sealed + hooded)

You can choose to carry this gear with you for the duration of the race or pick it up from your drop bag at Okataina or Blue Lake aid stations.

If you do not have this gear with you when you exit Okataina aid station after 4pm or Blue lake aid station after 8pm you will be withdrawn from the race.

If you would normally take something extra on a run of this duration, you should still take it.

Many runners in the 102km will require a headlamp to complete the race. We strongly advise you take one with you, as the forest trails are very dark at night!

100 Miler:
All runners must carry all mandatory gear for the duration of the race:

  • Headlamp
  • Base layer long sleeve thermal top
  • Base layer long leg thermal pants
  • Thermal hat (Buff accepted)
  • Thermal gloves
  • Waterproof jacket (seam-sealed + hooded)
  • Survival bag – not a survival blanket
  • 2 metres of self-adhesive bandage, at least 40mm wide
  • Mobile Phone – charged in a waterproof container

Please remember that these are the MINIMUM gear requirements. If you would normally take something extra on a run of this duration, you should still take it.

INSPECTION OF MANDATORY ITEMS: If mandatory items are required for the race, you will need to have your gear inspected. This can either be done pre-event at an Official Gear Check Store, or at Athlete Check-in.

Anyone wishing to avoid queues at Athlete Check-in, or uncertain on whether their gear passes or not, should get their mandatory gear pre-checked at an Official Gear Check Store. Macpac stores across New Zealand and Australia will perform these pre-checks. If all your items pass, the store will issue you a certificate for you to show at Athlete Check-in. You will not need to bring your gear to Check-in, only the certificate. Pre-event gear checks will operate between 9am Friday 24th January and 5pm Friday 7th February. If you do not get your gear pre-checked, or it fails the pre-check, you will need to bring your gear to Athlete Check-in for inspection. A list of Macpac Official Gear Check Stores can be found here:

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) may be undertaken along the course for all competitors.

We do not provide drinking 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 another 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.

1001 – 1350          100 Miler          Orange bib, black numbers
2001 – 2800        102km                Red bib, white numbers
3001 – 4300        50km                  Blue bib, white numbers
5001 – 6000        21km                  Green bib, white numbers

100 miler pacers have bibs with the same number as their runner. All runners have their name and country flag on their race numbers. Important emergency information is printed on the back of your race bib.

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 bibs.

Athlete Photos
We are excited to be working with Finisher Pix as our official athlete photography partner for 2020.

As a special introductory offer for Tarawera athletes, FinisherPix are pleased to be able to offer every athlete one free image, and significant discount on pre-purchased photo packages.

Download your free finish line photo here. View and purchase your photos online here.

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.

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 and a yellow sign with a black cross. Fluoro ribbons/cones will help to mark the course from the Blue Lake Aid Station to the finish line.

Aid Stations
The Aid Stations are very generously stocked with food and drinks – we will have Tailwind, lollies (jetplanes, sours jellybeans), chips (chicken, salt & vinegar and plain flavours), peanuts, sandwiches (peanut butter, honey, Marmite, jam and Nutella), fruit (bananas, oranges, grapes), ice, water, Coke, Mountain Dew, and 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. 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.

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

There will be toilets at the Lakefront Reserve bus pick-up, and at Firmin Field, Kawerau. There are also toilets at the 50km & 100 Miler start line at Te Puia, and 21km start-line at Blue Lake. There will be toilets at all aid stations, except the Isthmus.

You may 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 any public road where you will be running alongside cars.

Withdrawing during the race
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. If you cannot find a staff person, please ring the number on the back of your race bib. 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.

A support crew is certainly not necessary in the event. Drop bags are optional for 50km, 102km and 100 Miler, runners and can contain your own goodies (gels, food, change of socks, shoes, shorts, lubricant etc.). All distances will be issued with start and finish line drop bags labels.

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 at race registration before 9pm 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 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:

White Start
Black – Headlamp
Brown – Buried Village
Purple – Rerewhakaaitu
Yellow – Outlet*
Green – Okataina*
Blue – Blue Lake*
Orange – Finish**

* 50km / 102km / 100 Miler Running at Night
If you think you’ll need a headlamp for the finish, you can put it in your Outlet, Okataina or Blue Lake drop bag. Or your crew can deliver a headlamp to you at the aid station.

** Finish Line
Pack a change of clothes, comfy shoes/jandals etc. Pack some money for hot food and drinks. We will have a range of hot and cold food to buy.

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. During Athlete Check-in you will receive one Authority to Collect card 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 an Authority to Collect card will be able to collect drop bags.

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.

All runners need to leave the aid station and cross the timing mat BEFORE the cut-off times indicated on each course page. 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. 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.

Finish Line
There is ample parking at the finish-line and a guaranteed party atmosphere. The race will provide free drinks (a locally-brewed Croucher 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 all night. Stay behind and cheer in the final runners to the finish of an epic day. Bring your appetite!

Lost Property
Lost gear and drop bags will be transported back to the finish area and will be available at the finish-line until 4pm on Sunday. Labelling or naming your gear is essential. 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 17 hours or the 100 mile race within 30 hours will qualify to enter the WSER lottery. The Tarawera Ultramarathon (50, 102 and 160k) 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 from the current race and/or 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 or nutritional/ hydration/gear assistance 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.
  3. No athlete that was issued a sanction between 1 January 2014 and 31 Dec. 2019 for violating sports anti-doping rules may enter the Tarawera Ultramarathon until 1 Jan. 2022.

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:

QUARTZ Event program

The Organization of Tarawera Ultramarathon has decided to set up the QUARTZ Event Program to protect participant’s health and to contribute to doping-free sport.

The QUARTZ Event Program has neither the vocation nor the competence to replace anti-doping rules but aims to strengthen the medical supervision before, during and after the competition.

The QUARTZ Event program is carried out in collaboration with the International Trail Running Association (ITRA), Athletes For Transparency association (AFT) and Ultra Sports Science Foundation (USS).

The QUARTZ Event program is managed by a Medical Commission solely composed of doctors. This Medical Commission can take advice from experts of its choice and specifically give a consultative advice to the race direction on the medical condition of participants.

This Medical Commission can go as far as to suggest to the race direction that a participant should be excluded from competition for health reasons before competition (« no start ») or not ranked after the competition for non-compliance with the procedures.

The QUARTZ Event Program is for each participant who agrees to:

1. Declare to the Medical Commission the following medical information:

  • Any medical history and/or pathology, in particular those which may increase risks during competition.
  • The use of regular treatments or medication or dietary supplements at least during the 30 days prior to the start of the competition.
  • Request or use of a substance or method subject to a Therapeutic Use Exemption (TUE).

The declaration of medical information to the Medical Commission is done through the ITRA health space for which each participant has access after having created a free runner account on the ITRA website: The declared medical information is only accessible by the doctors of the Medical Commission, the designated experts as well as to the medical team during an eventual care during the competition.

2. Provide all urinary and/or blood and/or hair and/or salivary samples required from 30 days before the competition and up to 15 days after the competition and also consent to the associated analysis of these samples, on the understanding that the costs for sampling and analyses are covered directly by the Organization.

3. Do not participate in the competition when using:

Within 60 days before the start of the competition and during the competition

  • Intravenous iron infusion

Within 7 days before the start of the competition and during competition

  • Intravenous infusion
  • Gas inhalation
  • Substance subject to a Therapeutic Use Exemption (TUE) according to the WADA (World Anti-Doping Agency) Prohibited List published annually
  • Glucocorticoids regardless of the mode of administration
  • Thyroid synthesis hormones except in case of partial or total removal of the thyroid or hypothyroidism of medical origin.

Within 24 hours before the start of the competition and during competition

  • Beta-2-agonist regardless of the mode of administration
  • Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDs) regardless of the mode of administration

The possible use of these different substances may be identified in the context of the analysis carried out before and/or after the competition or any other means of investigation.

4. Accept to answer any meeting request on site or remotely (phone or videoconference) that the Medical Commission may ask for in order to discuss their ability or not to participate in the competition or not to be rank after the competition.

5. Submit any doping control form legible completed within 30 days before the start of the competition and up to 15 days after the competition.

6. Accept the use, for the only purpose of research and in a strictly anonymous way, of data concerning him. Each participant has a right of access, rectification and opposition to data concerning him. The Medical Commission is the authority with which the participant can exercise this right.

Any unreasonable breach, refusal, or transmission of erroneous information in connection with the QUARTZ Event Program can result in the exclusion of the participant from the competition before the competition or not to be rank after the competition.