It's Tauranga's first international marathon, and it's hoped it could become a ‘must do' attraction on the international running calendar.
“The objective in working with the Tauranga City Council was always to showcase the region's best spaces and places,” says race founder Aaron Carter of Total Sport.
The 42km race will start and finish on The Strand with its spectacular harbour backdrop. It will meander round the Daisy Hardwick boardwalk on Waikareao Estuary then onto Mount Maunganui and the loop track. Runners will then take in the ocean along Marine Parade, through rural Matapihi, across a rail bridge and finish in the heart of the city's bar and restaurant belt.
“And critically, it's about ensuring everyone who participates leaves saying: ‘Wow!' That was an amazing experience and beyond everything I was expecting,” says Aaron.
Organisers are aiming for 3000 participants across 42km, 21km, 10km and 5km options on October 7. “It's about having enough people to shake the industry and let them know the Tauranga International Marathon has arrived,” says Aaron.
The races will start at different locations and at different times to avoid congestion.
Apart from its waterfront location, the course will be flat, fast and fun. “For first-time runners, it will be an accessible new location. For experienced runners it will be a chance to stretch out on a stunning new waterside course.”
The Tauranga International Marathon will be open to international participants and will be marketed through international running networks and channels, including expos.
“In time, it could be as desirable to international runners as some of the other iconic marathon locations,” says Aaron.
Years one to three will be about putting the event on the radar in Australia and further afield. “We aspire to create an event that captures people's imaginations and sees them travelling a decent distance to be a part of it.”
Total Sport has partnered up with ‘Live More Awesome' – a non-profit charity dedicated to inspiring and finding help for people struggling with their mental health. “We strongly believe physical health can help support good mental health,” says Aaron.
The first woman and man in the full marathon win $2000 each, second $1000 and third $500. The first woman and man in the half marathon each get $1000, second $500 and third $250. “That's good prize money,” says Aaron. “So it's very likely we'll attract some of the best runners in New Zealand.”
To find out more, see: www.facebook.com/TaurangaInternationalMarathon/