Set to be the largest trail running event that New Zealand has ever hosted, the 2023 Tarawera Ultramarathon by UTMB has returned for its 14th edition. Over 5,000 runners are expected to hit the trail of Rotorua on 11-12 February 2023, marking the most number of participants with 40% of them being international competitors.
Runners will take on four different distances, including the 100-Miler (165km) race that will begin early at 4:00am on Saturday, 11 February 2023. The challenging course will require participants to complete the 165km distance within 36 hours, along the lakes and through the Whakarewarewa Forest.
The other distances, including the 50km, 102km and 21km, will also kick off on 11 February 2023. All of these courses offer stunning scenery as well, featuring sulphur flats and a lakeside finish in Village Green of Rotorua.
As part of the UTMB World Series, the Tarawera Ultramarathon – particularly TUM102 and TUMMiler – attracts many of the world’s best elite trail runners as they race to qualify for the Western States 100 Miles Endurance Run.
According to Mitch Murcott, Tarawera Ultramarathon by UTMB Race Director, the event is all about community.
"After two years away we're so excited to reunite the trail community in Rotorua for what will be the biggest Tarawera Ultramarathon to date. It's great to see the event continue to grow each year, with 75% of athletes taking part in the event for the first time in 2023, and the more than 5,000 runners and their supporters will provide a welcome boost to the Rotorua region," said Murcott.
Murcott also encourages all those attending and participating in the Tarawera Ultramarathon to respect and look after the land they run through.
In addition to the running events, the Tarawera Ultramarathon is also about sharing the Rotorua’s Maori culture and its hospitality. Throughout the weekend, athletes and their supporters will enjoy karakias and cultural performances at the start line for each distance. Those who finish early are also encouraged to soak up the atmosphere at the Village Green finish line, especially when the TUM102 and TUMMiler winners return and are greeted by a haka as an appreciation for their efforts.
The Tarawera Ultramarathon is set to be a memorable event for runners, supporters and the Rotorua community with competitors representing 76 nationalities.
The first event on the calendar for the 2023 UTMB World Series is ready for to welcome the trail community with world-class aid stations and volunteers.