Tarawera Ultra: Lake Okataina and Okareka
Lake Okataina is the centrepiece of the Tarawera Ultra course and offers a spectator friendly aid station near the water’s edge. Big crowds and a great atmosphere can be expected here, and runners often take a minute to catch their breath having completed the twisting and turning eastern Okataina walkways that hugs the lake edge and darts in and out of rockfaces and spectacular native bush.
In 2018, with the course being reversed for the first time since the 2014 race when Cyclone Lusi forced a change, runners will climb to the highest elevation on the course – on the western Okataina walkway before a long and gentle downhill towards yet another volcanic caldera – this time – Lake Okareka.
The spectacular Lake Okareka comes into view. From there, a boardwalk takes runners lakeside to the southwest, offering tranquil views over the water, to the hills and forest beyond. This is one of the most popular lakes in the region with boats, kayaks and waka plowing through the water and swimmers. Many runners will dive in to cool off from the afternoon sun.
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