Keen runner and former New Zealand marathon representative Murray Fleming is the new manager of the Rotorua Marathon.

“Running has always been a passion for me,” Murray said.  “I was a competitive runner in my younger days and I still run recreationally now.”

With a personal best time of 2h18m, Murray ran for New Zealand in the Macau Marathon and 100th Birmingham Marathon in the late 1980s.

“It’s been an honour to be involved in the sport.  Rotorua has always been the iconic marathon event in this country and it’s going to be a real pleasure and honour to take it over and bring it up to the next level.”


In his first year, he is adding a half marathon distance to the main event which takes marathon runners right around picturesque Lake Rotorua, in the North Island.

 

For the half distance, runners will be transported to the back of the lake and will run the second half of the marathon course.  

Murray also hopes to change the 5k and 10k courses so that they include the last 2.5k of the marathon course.

And he plans to finish all races inside the Rotorua Energy Event Centre, instead of on the road outside the building.

 

Murray started his company Event Promotions almost 20 years ago, with the 100km Great Lake Relay run around Lake Taupo. 

 

He now organises a range of distance cycling and running events throughout the North Island.

 

He says one goal for the Rotorua Marathon is to increase the number of international runners.

“We have at least 150 from the Sydney Striders coming over this year.  That’s due to the addition of the half marathon.  Looking ahead to the 50th marathon – only three years away – we are targeting 10,000 in the marathon alone.  It’s going to be a very special event.”

The marathon slogan is “take on the lake”.  Competitors start at the Government Gardens near the centre of Rotorua and head out through the city, around the back of the lake over the Hamurana hills, then wind their way back towards Rotorua.  They pass under the historic Prince’s Gate Archway, up the finish straight and into the Rotorua Energy Events Centre.

Next event date:

30 April 2011

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www.rotoruamarathon.co.nz

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