Photos: Alisha Lovrich
The 59th RedStag Rotorua Marathon witnessed a transformation with the introduction of three new events, namely the Museum Mile, RampRun, and Runway5, all of which left a mark on participants and the marathon itself.
Matthew Arnold, Sports and Marketing Manager at Athletics NZ, explains that these additions, aided by funding from Rotorua Trust, brought excitement and invigorated the marathon weekend, attracting a diverse range of participants who may not have otherwise joined.
Describing the event, Matthew says, “The very nature of the three new events brought together a huge range of abilities, from Olympians to recreational runners, to the rangatahi at Runway5 for the World Kids Athletics Day. Some may be experiencing a running event for the hundredth time, whilst others may be experiencing a running event for the first time. Therefore, an event day brings together all the energy and passion, making sure whoever the runner, regardless of their age or ability, everyone makes memories and enjoys the experience.”
“Developing events is a costly undertaking that requires huge work. To have the funding from the Rotorua Trust ensured we could deliver the three new events to the highest quality and efficiency.”
Each event presented unique challenges, from mapping out a road circuit to transforming a car park building and a runway into race venues. The organisers embraced these challenges and harnessed the potential of each location, ensuring that participants and spectators enjoyed a truly memorable experience.
The three new events injected fresh energy into the Rotorua Marathon and garnered highlights. The Museum Mile, for instance, played host to the first-ever New Zealand Road Mile Championships, featuring renowned athletes like Olympic Silver medallist Hayden Wilde and Sam Tanner, one of New Zealand’s fastest milers in history. Such involvement drew attention from running enthusiasts nationwide.
The impact of the new events extended beyond the marathon itself. Through the Runway5 event, participants contributed over $1000 to the Mokoia Island Trust, aiding in ongoing Kiwi conservation efforts on Mokoia Island. This not only highlighted the marathon’s commitment to environmental sustainability but also created a sense of community involvement.
Future aspirations are described as continuing to grow the culture and spirit that run through the Rotorua Marathon each year, bringing the community together, they always provide their upmost support. With runners coming from across the country to Rotorua, future aspirations hope to see the numbers continue to grow with these events and the current events of the Rotorua Marathon.