The Podium Podiatry & Footwear Rotoroua Half Marathon course is one of the most spectacular and scenic city runs in New Zealand. Cultural and natural highlights abound and runners will enjoy the changing surroundings and mixed surface. The finish on Rotorua’s stunning lake front will be a highlight for many.
The half marathon commences at the south eastern corner of the Village Green, at the very top of Fenton St. Runners will assemble on Memorial Drive for the race start – slower runners please see yourself appropriately. Walkers at the back of the field.
The first 2.5km is a thrilling mass charge down Rotorua’s primary thoroughfare, Fenton St. A right into Sofia St begins an almost complete circuit around the thermally active Arikikapapa Golf Course and reserve. The circumnavigation continues with a turn onto Old Taupo Road. Near (SH5) which continues almost to the junction with Hemo Road (SH30). Just before this junction, a footpath takes runners on a short cut back towards the city and past the gates of Te Puia.
One of the most important cultural attractions in the city, Te Puia also boasts the famous Pohutu Geyser which erupts almost hourly … so depending on your pace, prepare for a shock!
Just before the 6km mark, a turn on to Froude St which eventually leads onto a brief section on Sala St (SH30). A right turn just prior to the 7km mark heads towards the grounds of Scion – the forestry research crown institute. A quick left, however, then takes you past DOC offices and into our first forest section. The packed dirt track initially follows the banks of Puarenga Stream before heading onto forest paths. A few turns then bring us out onto the magnificent Long Mile Road – the gateway to the Redwoods.
A short section on Long Mile Road includes the 9km mark before a turn onto one of the true jewels in the crown of the Half Marathon. The next 1.5km take you through the magnificent Redwoods on the world renowned Memorial Track. Yes, it is a little bit uphill but you wont even notice as you run past ancient thermal ponds and thread your way between the giant Sequioa’s on a bed of thick pine needles.
The 10km point marks the turn off Memorial Track onto a stunning downhill run on the Quarry Rd track to the Redwoods visitor centre. You are now officially half way there! Next is a turn back on to Long Mile Road for another km.
Turning right out of Long Mile Road, the 12th and 13th kilometre involve a loop around the leafy Rotorua suburb of Lynmore, via Tarawera Rd, Selwyn Rd, Fairley Rd and Lymore Ave. Returning back along Long Mile Road, another forest path section includes the 14km mark before the route joins Te Ngae Rd (SH30).
Past km 15, a couple of sharp turns takes you off Te Ngae Rd and through an underpass that you may have driven over a hundred times without ever realising it even existing. The main roads are left behind and the next 1.5km follows the banks of the stream.
Puarenga Stream feeds into Lake Rotorua at Sulphur Bay and the entire area is a thermal wonderland of sights, sounds and, yes, smells! At 16.5km, the route leaves the stream to cross the famous salt tracks. The next two kilometres is an assault on the senses … perfect for taking your mind off those aching limbs.
Past the 18km markers and the natural highlights are replaced by Rotorua’s cultural wonders. The Polynesian Spa, Blue Baths and world famous Rotorua Museum follow in quick succession.
Past 19km and the route joins the edge of Lake Rotorua with stunning views across the water. This is your companion now all the way to the finish line. A mixture of road and track takes your around the headland and the 20km marker signals the final turn for home.
Our finish line is directly in front of the magnificent lake front and provides a spectacular backfdrop to your achievement. It will – we promise – be a day and a run you will remember for a long, long time.