Frequently Asked Questions



🏃 Can I get a refund or transfer my entry?
Refer to the Entry Info page for all refund and transfer information. Please note, we do not have a deferral system for this event.

🏃 How to withdraw
The procedure is on the Entry Info.

🏃 Road shoes or trails shoes?
Your choice – in general, road shoes are fine unless the course is wet. See recommendations in the individual course descriptions.

🏃 I am not sure 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 102km 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.

🏃  What terrain? Flat or hilly course?
In general, all three courses are low elevation, single tracks (trails) and wide trails through forests and narrow forestry roads. There are mainly gentle hills, short, steep hills and flat sections. There are few stairs. The major technical sections (roots, rocks and sharp hills) are the Eastern Okataina walkway and Northern Tarawera Track (roughly, Okataina to Humphries Bay aid station). This is considered a very runnable course. Race results provide indicative times.

🏃  How do you mark the courses?
For the event, the course will be marked with red directional arrows on a white background ‘→’, and pink+orange flagging tape. There will also be reflective tape and glowsticks on night time sections. You need to pay attention, especially at night, to follow these course markings.

🏃 Training runs on the course?
Most sections of the course 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) belong to 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.

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.

🏃 Carrying water?
It is recommended (although not compulsory) to carry water between aid stations. 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.