About the Rotorua Half Marathon

Run or Walk through New Zealand’s premiere tourist city.

New Zealand’s premiere tourist city provides a spectacular backdrop for one of the most scenic and varied half marathons in the country. Major city boulevards, fabulous forest trails and historic buildings all play their part … and where else in the world can you run right through the middle of an active geothermal park or right over the top of a crystal-clear, petrified forest? Welcome to the stunning Rotorua Half Marathon … natural, cultural, historic!

The event base is Rotorua’s village green with beautiful Lake Rotorua and Mokoia Island providing the backdrop. The Rotorua Half Marathon is the only running event to bring traffic on Fenton Street to a halt as the mass start heads south from the lake for a 3km blast down Rotorua’s primary artery. For half marathoners, the route heads past world-renowned cultural centre, Te Puia, before the jewel in the crown. Km 7 to Km 14 is on flat, hard-packed trails and roads right in the heart of the Whakarewarewa Forest – home to the mighty Redwoods. The route is almost totally flat and jaw-droppingly beautiful.

From Km 15 – which is also km 4 of the 10k Classic – the course runs through an active geothermal area on hard-packed trails, along the banks of Puarenga Stream and towards the lake shore. It then cuts inland through the historic formality of Government Gardens – past the Blue Baths and world famous Rotorua Museum building. The final two kilometres follow the lake shore on road, trail and boardwalk to the welcome sight of the finish line.

Collect your beautiful finisher medal. Put it on. Wear it with pride! For 2018, we have a superb finisher medal which celebrates Rotorua’s reputation as the “Vegas of the south”. We know you will love it.


Enter Now

Let’s do this! Sign up for the Rotorua Half Marathon here …

Entry Fees

Half Marathon

  • Until 24 Nov | Fee Info
  • 14 yrs & over

10km Classic

  • Until 24 Nov | Fee Info
  • No age restrictions

4km Fun Run & Walk

  • Until 24 Nov | Fee Info
  • No age restrictions

2km Kids' Dash

  • Until 24 Nov | Fee Info
  • Ages 3 – 10 yrs

Family 4K Pass

  • 2 Adults/1 Child | Fee Info
  • Extra Child (U16) $10

* Half Marathon entry includes a $4 Whakarewarewa Forest Activity Fee, levied by Rotorua Lakes Council on behalf of the land owner.


Your Entry Includes …

  • Superb Race Organisation
  • Finisher Medal

  • Fully Pimped Out Race Number
  • Running Events Gift

  • Electronic Timing & Instant Results

Race Information

A comprehensive guide to the Rotorua Half Marathon.

Race Day: 25 November 2018

Venue: The Village Green, Rotorua

Start Times

10k Start – 7:15am
Half Marathon Start – 7:30am
4K Run/Walk Start – 9:30am
Kids Dash Start – 10:30am

Race Guide

The Race Guide is a comprehensive document in PDF format which you can download and store on your smart device – or go old school and print it out. It contains a summary of all the important information to make sure you get the most out of your event experience. The Race Guide will be available for download here two weeks out from the event. Don’t miss it!

Important Dates

Date Details
23 July 2018 Online registration opens.
16 Sep 2018 Earlybird entry rates expire.
28 Oct 2018 Last opportunity to claim 50% refund for withdrawal.
28 Oct 2018 Last chance to claim free delivery of your race number.
18 Nov 2018 Family entry packages expire.
19 Nov 2018 Race Week entry rates apply.
24 Nov 2018 4-5pm: Pre-race registration at the event venue.
24 Nov 2018 9pm: Online registration closes (if not already sold out)
25 Nov 2018 Race Day!

Race Day Schedule

Time Details
6:00am Late entry & race day registration opens
7:10am Compulsory race briefing – 10K Classic (@ start line)
7:15am RACE START 10K Classic
7:20am Compulsory race briefing – Half Marathon (@ start line)
7:30am RACE START 21K
9:25am Compulsory race briefing – 4km (@ start line)
9:30am RACE START 4K Community Fun Run & Walk
10:25am Compulsory race briefing – Kids’ Dash (@ start line)
10:30am RACE START 2km Kids’ Dash
11:00am Awards ceremony and spot prizes
11:30am CLOSE Event Concludes

Event T-shirt

The Rotorua Half Marathon event t-shirt is available to purchase when you register. Made from light-weight, dry-fit material, the shirt design features the event logo. You can order your t-shirt during the entry process or – if you change your mind later – add it to your registration later. You can pick up your t-shirt from the Merchandise tent at the venue during pre-race registration or on race day. The t-shirt design will be available soon.

Important! All of our t-shirts are produced months in advance of the event and quantities and sizes are strictly limited. Please order your t-shirt early – once they’re gone, they’re gone!

Cost: $25


Small Medium Large X-Large 2X-Large
Chest (cm) 50 53 56 60 64
Length (cm) 74 76 78 80 82


8 10 12 14 16 18
Chest (cm) 45 47 49 51 54 57
Length (cm) 62 64 66 68 70 72

Important! Compare the chest measurement with a favourite t-shirt to be sure of your sizing. Our measurements are taken with the t-shirt laid on a flat surfaces. The length measurement is taken from the top of the neckline to the bottom of the shirt. The Chest measurement is taken from armpit to armpit.

2018 T-shirt

2017 T-Shirt

Race Number

It is a requirement of your participation in the event that you wear your race number on the front of your shirt at all times whilst taking part. Your number should be secured to your shirt by a safety pin in each corner (if you don’t have any, come to the Registration desk on race morning). Your electronic timing tag is attached to the back of your race number so be careful not to crease, crush or puncture it.

Pimp Your Bib!
When you register, you will have the opportunity to select a nickname to print on your race number. Feel free to be creative – but please keep it clean folks! If you don’t select a nickname, your first name will be printed instead. If you prefer to fly under the radar – or you want to get creative with a sharpie – just put a full stop in the nickname field and we will leave it blank.

Important! Race numbers are printed in two batches. The first batch is sent to print approximately 28 days prior to the event and will include everyone registered in the event at that time. The second batch is sent to print 3-4 days before the event and includes everyone registered up to that time. Note that once your race number has been printed, it is no longer possible to change the printing. If you transfer your entry to another person and your race number has already been printed, your name will still appear on there.

Important! Please don’t lose your race number. Replacement numbers are $10.

Timing Tag

When you receive your race number, your electronic timing tag will be attached to the back. We are using disposable stick-on timing tags this year. We are sure you will appreciate the convenience of not having to attach a plastic tag to your shoes and then return it at the finish. All you have to remember is to secure your race number to the front of your shirt and you’re all set. Try to avoid holding your arm in front of the number as you cross the finish line (e.g. to turn off your watch) as this can sometimes affect the tag reading. Just wait until a few steps after the timing mat.

Important! There is no need to return your timing tag.

Important! Keep your race number with you when you finish as we will use it to register you in the prize draw for the Awards Ceremony – see below.

Finisher Medal

Everyone who finishes the Rotorua Half Marathon – irrespective of distance – will receive an exclusive commemorative finisher medal. We take great pride in the medals we award at the Rotorua Half Marathon and believe they are amongst the very best you will find at any event in the country. We hope you agree!

2018 Finisher Medal

2017 Finisher Medal

Host Hotel

With the start/finish lines less than 100 metres away on the Village Green … why would you want to stay anywhere else?

Recently renovated to a very high standard throughout, the Novotel is our host hotel and it simply could not be more convenient for accessing all of the race activities. Your start/finish line is only metres away on the Village Green. Novotel’s sister hotel, the Ibis, is immediately adjacent and offers the same convenience at a more economical price point.

Every entrant to the Rotorua Half Marathon will receive a special discount off the best daily rates available. Just use the Preferential Code below when booking directly from the Novotel or Ibis web sites.

Discount Code: BGPG



Road Closures

The Rotorua Half Marathon employs a number of road closures around the venue and on the course to help ensure the safety and enjoyment of participants, spectators and the public.

  • From 5am to 11am: Lake Front Drive from the volcanic playground to Memorial Drive
  • From 5am to 11am: Memorial Drive
  • From 5am to 11am: Oruawhata Drive
  • From 7:10am to 7:20am and 7:25am to 7:35am: Fenton St from Memorial Drive to south of Amohau St (SH30a) junction.
  • From 7am to 9:30am: Long Mile Road, east of visitor centre car park

Important! Running Events are indebted to Rotorua Lakes Council and the New Zealand Transport Agency for their assistance in helping us provide a safe and enjoyable experience for our participants on race day. We are especially thankful to the residents and road users of Rotorua for the patience and understanding whilst the event takes place.


There is plentiful parking around in the streets around the venue, particularly along Lake Rd, Whakaue St and Rangiuru St. We do have a big crowd coming, however, so allow yourself a little extra time if you are driving to the event, you may have to park 5-10 minutes easy walk from the venue.

Please park sensibly. It is just basic courtesy not to park on grass verges or block driveways for the very tolerant residents and businesses in the area. Obey all parking directions and you can avoid a nasty surprise when you return to your vehicle.

Spot Prizes & Merit Awards

The event will conclude with an Awards Ceremony where we will acknowledge some of the excellent performances on the day, as well as giving away thousands of dollars of spot prizes from our sponsors. The ceremony will take place on the main stage at the venue. See the Race Day Schedule for times.

Spot Prizes

We have many wonderful spot prizes to give away including vouchers for Brooks running shoes and the Garmin Forerunner GPS sports watch. The grand prize is a big screen TV (or similar). Remember – you must be present at the prize giving to claim your prize. Only those who scan their timing tags at the spot prize timing point will be eligible to win a prize. The prize draw timing point will be activated approximately 15-20 minutes before the ceremony – listen out for announcements. All you have to do is walk across the timing mat with your race number and you will be registered in the draw. Easy as!

Important! In the event of inclement weather, we may elect to cancel the Awards Ceremony. Listen out for announcements on the PA or check out our Facebook page. If this does happen, all prize winners will be announced on our Facebook page and prizes will be couriered out to them.

Merit Awards

Beautiful glass trophies will be awarded to:

  • Top 3 men and women overall in the following events …
    • Half Marathon Run,
    • Half Marathon Competitive Walk,
    • 10K Classic Run,
    • 10K Classic Competitive Walk
    • 4K Fun Run & Walk
  • Top 3 boys and girls in the 2K Dash for …
    • Ages 7 & Under
    • Ages 8 & Over


Thanks to Kerris Browne and her Jogging the Powerpoles group, we will have pacers available to help you reach you race goals. Our pacers will be wearing a hydration pack with their target time flag attached. Look out for the coloured flags during the pre-race safety briefing or at the start line. When you find them – stick to them like glue! Right to the finish line!

Target Time Colour
1’40” Green
1’50” Blue
2’00” Red
2’10” Yellow
2’20” Orange (subject to availability)

Information For Walkers

Running Events welcome walkers in all of our events, irrespective of the distance. Walkers routinely make up around 15-20% of the total field. We take the needs of our walkers seriously and have made changes to how our events operate to allow walkers to be appropriately recognised and accommodated. The notes here will help you, as a walker, to get the most from the event and help familiarise you with our setup for walkers.

Important! In the spirit of fair competition, we ask that all competitors adhere strictly to the rules. Competitive Walkers must not run or jog at any time during the event and must maintain contact with the ground at all times.

Hybrid Walk/Run or Competitive Walk?
When registering for a race distance which includes a competitive walk prize, you will be prompted to identify yourself as Runner, Hybrid Run/Walk or Competitive Walker. If you plan to walk most of the way but want to have the option to jog or run at any point, you should select the hybrid option. If you intend to walk throughout the event and want to measure yourself against other walkers, you should choose the Competitive Walk option.

Important! Due to the need to re-open the road junction at Fenton St and Amohau St (SH30a) as quickly as possible, all hybrid and competitive walkers should start at the back of the main field on the same start signal as runners. Walkers should proceed to this junction without delay. If you arrive after the junction has been re-opened, you will be directed onto the footpath and you will have to cross the junction under normal pedestrian rules before re-joining the event.

Are There Prizes?
Please see the Merit Awards section for details of prizes. To be eligible for awards, walkers must enter in the Competitive Walk category, start on the Competitive Walk start signal and must only walk during the event.

How Is the Walking Competition Judged?
Unfortunately, we are not able to provide walking judges for our events. Therefore, we rely upon the integrity of those taking part to adhere to the rules of the walking competition and not run or jog at any time. In our experience over the years, we have found that the most common error in the walking competition is where people register as a competitive walker but decide to run on race day. We have worked around this issue by having a dedicated race start for walkers wherever there are Competitive Walk merit prizes at stake.

Important! We do not make judgement calls on disqualifications based on reports from other competitors. Unless advised otherwise by the competitor in question, we trust the integrity of our competitive walkers. In all cases, the Race Director’s decision shall be final.

Event Safety

It is compulsory for all participants to attend, listen to and heed the advice of the safety briefing. Above all else, however, please understand that no roads are closed during the event. You have sole responsibility for your own safety. Do not leave any pavement, cross any road, pass any driveway unless you deem it is safe for you to do so.

Read the health and safety plan on the event web site which covers your behaviour and spectators who accompany you to the event. Please remind your own spectators that they should not attempt to accompany you in vehicles, bikes or otherwise. They must follow the normal rules of the road to reach vantage points.

Important! A copy of the approved Health & Safety plan is available from Running Events on request.

Course Safety

Remember that other a small area near the start and finish of the event, all roads are open to the public at all times. Even where a road closure is in place, we cannot guarantee the course will be traffic free. Stick to the pavement where directed to do so and do not cross any intersection unless you have determined to your own satisfaction that it is safe to do so.

Please remember the golden rule … Always give way to vehicles. No matter who has right of way, vehicles always win.

Course & Venue Maps

Know where you’re going … then train to get there. Maps for all race distances and the event venue.

Half Marathon

This is the blue riband event of the Rotorua Half Marathon – the half marathon that has it all!

The course features a mass start on Rotorua’s main thoroughfare, Fenton St, and a trip through the most beautiful tracks of the Redwoods forest. You’ll also circumnavigate two golf courses, run through the thermally active Sulphur Bay tracks, past world famous Rotorua Museum and finish at the stunning Rotorua lake front. What more can we say but … wow!

Half Marathon Course Map

10K Classic

If we only had four words to describe the 10K Classic at the Rotorua Half Marathon, it would be these: Flat, Fast, Scenic, Awesome.

Fortunately, we are not so restricted so we can tell you that the 10K Classic will be the first event to take place on Sunday. The mass charge down Fenton St will be a highlight, but so too will nearly 2km of running on the banks of Puarenga Stream. Another 2km through the amazing Salt Tracks, Government Gardens, the Blue Baths … this is the ultimate 10k city course.

Half Marathon Course Map

4K Fun Run & Walk

Can you really run or walk for four kilometres non-stop? YES, you can!

The Community 4k event at the Rotorua Half Marathon is for everyone; young or old, fit or “soon to be fitter than I was” – the 4k is an achievable goal that you can run or walk. The flat course packs in an unbelievable tour of Rotorua landmarks like Government Gardens, the Rotorua Museum and the magnificent lake front.

Half Marathon Course Map

2km Kids’ Dash

Kids – start your engines!

The 2k Kids’ Dash attracts a huge number of kids and their cheering parents to the race. The course is spectator friendly with the start, lap point and finish all just metres apart. Or, for the younger kids, we encourage parents to run alongside. With such wide roads to run on, every kid will have a chance to really switch on the after-burners. But even if a more sedate trot is your best on the day, you will still get a huge ovation when you cross the line. Each kid gets a finisher’s medal, a lolly … and an awesome story for show-and-tell at school on Monday!

Half Marathon Course Map

Venue Map

Right beside Lake Rotorua is the Village Green and Lakefront Drive, the arena of choice for the Rotorua Half Marathon.

The village green is bordered by Memorial Drive, Whakaue Street, Lake Road and Lakefront Drive to the west and north respectively with Lake Rotorua nothing more than 100 metres away. Overlooking the Village Green is the Novotel Rotorua Lakeside and it’s sister Hotel Ibis, our host hotels. To read more about these fantastic establishments, check out our Host Hotel page.

The Running Events finish/start arch will be set up on the grass and there will be plenty of room for cheerleaders to provide their support, and athletes to rest their tired legs until prize giving. There will be some great food choices on site as well if you get a case of the munchies.

Half Marathon Course Map

Past Events

Results, photos, video and more from previous editions of the Rotorua Half Marathon

“The Haka was amazing.”

“The Haka was amazing & the unique scenery made it one of my best halfs. I am visiting NZ, what a great way to do sightseeing. A Well organized event.” – Isabel van der Westhuizen (Half Marathon)

An awesome well organised event. The medals we received are totally amazing. Looking forward to the photos! Thanks heaps.

Julia Gladwin, 10k Classic

Great course. Nice weather. Hardly any hills. It was a beaut run!

Michelle Trubshaw, Half Marathon

First time doing the 2km Dash with the kids and it was perfect for them. Well organised and very enjoyable. 10/10 for the organisers!

Katrina Weller, Kids' Dash




2017 VIDEO
2016 VIDEO

Photo Gallery

Contact Us

Get answers to any question about your next Running Event …

We’d love to hear from you, but first …
… we’ve listed the five questions we get asked most often in the list below. You can save yourself (and us!) a whole heap of time by checking these Questions and Answers to see if this might answer your query. There’s a good chance this will nail it and you’ll be all set!

Your tiktok dashboard allows you to make a variety of changes to your registration without even needing to ask us. How good is that? From within tiktok you can update your contact details, upgrade or downgrade your race selection or transfer your entry to another person. You can also add additional items like t-shirts and iTabs to your registration and pay the extra online. Just click on the LOGIN  link in the menu and log in using the email address and password that you set up during registration. On the left-side menu click on the ‘Registrations’ option and you will be able to see all your current registrations. Select the one you wish to change and follow the options from there. If you do have any difficulties, please just get back to us through this Contact Form.

Running Events offer a 50% refund of the entry fee paid to anyone who is unable to take part in one of our events for medical reasons (or a 75% refund in the case of a Series Pass entry). Notification of your intent to withdraw must be made at least one calendar month prior to the event (in the case of a “Series Pass” entry – this must be one month prior to the first event in the series) using the online contact form on the event web site. Unfortunately, we do not offer deferral of race entries to future events under any circumstances.

Full details on our Refund & Transfer policy can be found here.

Important: Please DO NOT ASK for an exception – you are wasting your time and ours. In fairness to all participants, we do not make exceptions to these rules under any circumstances.

Everyone registered in the event more than 4 weeks out from race day can expect to receive their race number (with timing tag attached to the back) 1-3 weeks prior to the event.

Those who registered after this time will need to collect their race number from the venue during race weekend. Check the Info section of the web site for dates, times and locations for Race Packet Pickup.

If you ordered any merchandise, it will be available for collection from the Merchandise tent on race weekend during registration times.

Our new timing tags are small stickers that can be found on the back of your bib.  The tag sends out a unique UHF signal that identifies the athlete and records the exact time at which the athlete passes the detection mats. The tags are designed to withstand rain and sweat as the mechanical part of the tag is covered by a foam spacer but please don’t fold or bend the bib as this can damage it.  All you need to do is make sure you have your bib attached to the front of your shirt and you’re good to go.

Of course! We love walkers and all of our events are open to runners, joggers and walkers alike. Many of our events offer specific merit prizes, start times and rules for competitive walkers. Please check the event web site and you will find this information on the “Walkers” tab.

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