In New Zealand’s marathon month of November, you can run among the soaring peaks of Queenstown and the steaming geysers of Rotorua.
November is ‘marathon month’ in New Zealand and with the arrival of spring weather, there are more runners lining up at start lines across the country than any other month in the year.
Here are two distinctly different marathons both taking place in November. Whether you are a beginner or seasoned runner, come and run one, or run them both!
Queenstown International Marathon
Don’t worry about breaking new personal best records with this race, the scenery will demand you slow down and take it all in. The Queenstown marathon’s tag line is ‘Flat Out Beautiful’ and it is just that, an undulating course starting in the historic gold mining town of Arrowtown, passing by rivers, lakes and striking alpine scenery non-stop all the way to the finish line in Queenstown.
The course is a mix of road and trails. Most of the off-road sections are held on the ever-expanding New Zealand Cycle Trail network. Not only are the trails easier on the knees, they offer the perfect post-marathon recovery ride. So rent a bike the following day and cruise the trails around the Wakatipu basin.
The Air New Zealand Queenstown International Marathon is held on 19 November, 2016. Categories include full marathon, half marathon, 10km and a kids run. Enter online here There are daily flights from all major city centres around New Zealand into Queenstown Airport. There are direct international flights just 3 hours from Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane.
Stay close in town for easy access to the start line shuttle buses on race day. Queenstown is New Zealand’s adventure capital, so bungy jumping, jet boating and skydiving are just some adrenaline pumping activities you can plan into your marathon holiday here.
Tarawera Trail Marathon
The Tarawera Trail Marathon takes runners along the off-road trails amidst the geothermal landscapes of Rotorua, located in the central North Island. Offering a full marathon or 50km options only, this marathon is definitely geared for those who have put in the training.
A Maori haka is performed to rally the spirits as runners gather at the start line in front of the iconic Pohutu Geyser. From here it is ‘full steam ahead’ through the heart of the Whakarewarewa Forest, a hybrid forest of native giant tree ferns intertwined with forestry pine trees. The trail serves up a few decent climbs that offer a reward of vistas over Green Lake. A descent down to Hot Water Beach marks the finish line at the foot of Mt. Tarawera. Soak those weary legs in the healing thermal waters, or cool off by jumping in the lake. Complete the day with a scenic boat ride back to Rotorua.
The Tarawera Trail Marathon is held on November 12, 2016. Categories offer full 42.2km off-road marathon or 50km trail run distances. Enter online here
Rotorua is a 2.5 hour drive or a 40 minute flight from Auckland. Considered the Maori tourism hub of New Zealand, experience the stories and culture of New Zealand’s native people in Rotorua.