Rotorua’s Tarawera Ultramarathon will be one of the races on an exciting new global tour announced in France, today.
The 2014 Ultra-Trail World Tour will feature eight long distance running races in Africa, America, Asia and Europe with New Zealand representing Oceania.
The Vibram Tarawera Ultramarathon is a challenging 100 kilometre off-road run from Rotorua to Kawerau, through the magnificent countryside of the Bay of Plenty.
It is raced every year in mid-March.
“The invitation for the Tarawera Ultra to be part of the world tour came completely out of the blue one night in the form a Skype call from Ultra-Trail organisers in Paris," said Tarawera race director, Paul Charteris. “I was speechless. It’s such an honour to be invited to be one of the inaugural Tour partners." he added.
“The best trail ultra marathon runners from all over the world will make Rotorua a bucket-list destination.”
The Tarawera Ultramarathon was first run six years ago.
“It was really a crazy dream to start with,” Charteris said. “These days we sell out well ahead of race day with a big waiting list, but it’s still unbelievable to think that hundreds of the world’s running media will be in a press conference in Chamonix in France today learning about the Tarawera Ultra.”
Charteris says the Ultra-Trail World Tour is all about bringing runners together in the spirit of friendship, adventure and competition.
It also guarantees exposure to a much greater global audience and the potential benefits to local tourism and economy will be in the millions of dollars.
Other races on the Tour are The Western States 100 Mile Endurance Run (USA), the Marathon des Sables (Morocco), The North Ultra-Trail du Mont-Blanc (France, Italy, Switzerland), The Transgrancanaria (Spain), Lavaredo Ultra-Trail (Italy), Vibram Hong Kong 100 (Hong Kong) and the Ultra-Trail Mont Fuji (Japan).
“These are all successful, well-established events with long histories, big race fields and massive media interest,” says Charteris. “And they aren’t just about the racing they’re also about the magnificent landscapes and exotic environments they're run in.”
Being part of the tour will be an opportunity to showcase Rotorua and New Zealand to the world.
The city has a well-deserved reputation as a tourist and adventure sport destination and for running world-class events.
“The international runners who have raced in the Tarawera Ultra have all loved being here,” said Charteris.
“Our beautiful lakes and the forests, spa and geothermal features and Maori culture are a unique and seductive combination.”
More details about the race are available at: www.taraweraultra.co.nz