Fancy running a marathon which marries both history and geography in equal measure? Then why not sample the iconic Rotorua Marathon on New Zealand’s North Island, which celebrates its 50th anniversary next year.


First held in 1965, Australasia’s oldest marathon is run around the perimeter road of the stunning Rotorua lake, which measures almost the exact marathon distance of 42.195km.


Run in the month of May, the mainly flat course with a few hills between 15 and 25km offers an ideal marathon challenge. This year’s race was run in overcast conditions and ideal temperatures of 16degC with the benefit of a tailwind for runners over the final 16km.






Older than the big city marathons of London, New York, Berlin and Chicago, the event, which next year doubles as the New Zealand Marathon Championships, is expected to attract around 8000 athletes across all events – double the number of the 2013 event.


Besides the classic marathon, a half marathon will be run on an out and back course, with quarter marathon and 5km races run on sulphur trails.  A children’s event will be run around the Government Gardens on the Friday.


Runners entering Rotorua Marathon will also enjoy experiencing Rotorua city on the southern shores of the lake.  The popular tourist destination, made famous for its geothermal activity, gives visitors the chance to sample its geysers and hot mud pools.

Thrill seekers will love the chance to try their hand at zorbing or luge while those who prefer a slower pace can check out the many spa and health and wellness opportunities offered in the area. Rotorua also boasts some of the world’s best mountain bike trails and trout fishing opportunities.


Event promoter, Carl Jackson, says runners of all abilities should not miss out on the opportunity to run in the historic race and urges potential entrants to embrace the full Rotorua experience.


“The Rotorua Marathon has long been New Zealand’s favourite event,” says Carl. “It is a truly iconic event, in a destination city. Rotorua is known as the adventure playground and runners of all abilities have enjoyed great experiences over the past 49 years.”


All marathon finishers will receive a t-shirt and medal. Entries for the historic marathon open on 1st September. To find out more about entering from overseas, visit



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