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RUN247 / Running Race Guides / Tarawera Ultra-Trail by UTMB: Route, live tracking & how to enter
15-16 Feb 2025
Rotorua
-
New Zealand

Tarawera Ultra-Trail by UTMB: Route, live tracking & how to enter

The Tarawera Ultra-Trail by UTMB is a collection of UTMB World Series trail running races in New Zealand. 

Held in February of each year, the race is based in the town of Rotorua on New Zealand’s North Island, with the inaugural edition held in 2009.

In 2021, the event joined the UTMB World Series meaning it began to offer running stones to competitors in all four of its races, allowing them the chance to qualify for the UTMB World Series Finals at the Ultra Trail du Mont-Blanc

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Date, start time and live tracking 

The Tarawera Ultra-Trail by UTMB traditionally takes place in February, with the 2024 edition taking place on February 17-18, making it the de facto season opener for the 2024 UTMB World Series

Runners at the Tarawera Ultramarathon 2020 – Tim Bardsley-Smith. [Photo credit: UTMB]

The event will welcome the largest number of starters in its history, with more than 4,500 expected to toe the line across one of four distances – 21km, 50km, 102km and 100 miles (165km).

Tarawera Ultra-Trail begins at 4:00am on Saturday 17 February for those taking part in the 100-mile race, with athletes given a total allowable time of 36 hours to complete the course. All other distances also start on Saturday, with the 50km race underway at 6:00am, the 102km at 7:30am, and the 21km at 9.00am.

Live tracking is available on the UTMB Live website here

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Tarawera Ultra-Trail by UTMB route 

The Tarawera Ultramarathon by UTMB has four races; the T21, the T50, T102, and the TMiler. 

The TMiler is the Tarawera Ultramarathon by UTMB’s flagship 100 Mile race. Starting at Te Puia in Rotorua, it takes runners throughout the geothermal surroundings of the region, with competitors crossing eight different lakes (which includes crossing Lake Rotomahana by boat), running along single-track paths surrounded by Redwoods and navigating around Mount Tarawera before returning to Rotorua at the Lakefront Reserve. It has a total elevation of 5470m. 

The 102km race starts in an entirely different location, at Firmin Field in Kawerau – an hour east of Rotorua. From there runners must tackle 3089m of elevation as they first travel southwards to join the TMiler route North-East of Mount Tarawera, which they will then follow to the finish in Rotorua. 

The T50 takes runners on a shorter journey around Rotorua, leaving Te Puia and taking runners southwards to Lake Rotokakahi and Lake Tikitapu before finishing in Rotorua once more. It has a total elevation of 1572m. 

Finally, the point-to-point T21 is a 21km race with 734m of elevation. Starting with a loop around Lake Tikitapu, runners will then race to the finish in Rotorua. 

Facts, tips and FAQ 

All four Tarawera Ultramarathon by UTMB races offer running stones. The TMiler offers four running stones to finishers, with the T102 offering three, T50 two and the T21 one.  

These running stones can be used to enter the lottery for entry to the UTMB World Series Finals at the Ultra Trail du Mont-Blanc. 

As a long running race, the Tarawera Ultra-Trail by UTMB has a special ‘Legends of Tarawera’ programme for any athletes who have completed ten or more races at Tarawera Ultramarathon, offering gifts for 10, 15 and 25 races completed. 

Other rewards include an opportunity for those who complete the TMiler to choose a permanent race number.  

How to qualify and enter Tarawera Ultra-Trail by UTMB 

All entrants for every race except the T21 must be 18-years-old or older as of the start of the race. For the T21, entrants must be 16 or older. 

Entrance to the TMiler costs NZL $950.00, with entrants required to provide evidence of a completed 50km or longer run completed before 1 January.  

The 50km must be completed within a 10-hour time period and can be self-recorded via a publicly accessible tracking app or as part of a completed finish in an official trail-race. 

There are no such qualification criteria for the other races. The entrance fee for the T102 is NZ$525.00, T50 NZ$375.00 and T21 NZ$160.00. 

Tarawera Ultra-Trail by UTMB records and past winners 

Whilst it only joined the UTMB World Series ahead of its postponed 2022 edition, Tarawera Ultra-Trail by UTMB has taken place in some form annually since 2009. 

In 2009 the longest race was 85km, and the 100-mile TMiler was not introduced until 2018. In 2014, Cyclone Lusi meant there was an altered long (73km) and short (63km) course. 

TUM102 Winners  

Year  Women  Time Men Time  
2010 Fleur Bromley  11:29:12 Kerry Suter  09:48:20   
2011 Amy Campbell  11:36:35 Sam Wreford  08:33:50   
2012 Nicola Gildersleeve  10:26:28  Mick Donges  08:51:08   
2013 Ruby Muir  10:30:11 Sage Canaday  08:53:34   
2014 Jo Johansen – Sage Canaday – 
2015 Ruby Muir 09:02:42 Dylan Bowman 07:44:57 
2016 Fiona Hayvice 10:34:26 Jonas Buud 08:00:53 
2017 Camille Herron 08:56:00 Jim Walmsley 07:23:32 
2018 Kelly Wolf 10:08:45 Dylan Bowman 08:27:41 
2019 Courtney Dauwalter 09:28:03 Reece Edwards 08:22:51 
2020 Manuela Soccol 09:39:49 Tom Evans 08:03:29  
2021 Ruth Croft 09:21:03 Rhys Johnston 09:39:29 
2023Nancy Jiang09:26:08Daniel Jones7:27:55

TUMMiler Winners

Year Women Time Male Time  
2018 Sally McRae 21:11:10 Adrian Prigent 19:38:32  
2019 Camille Herron 17:20:52 Jeff Browning 16:18:54 
2020 Ailsa MacDonald 18:10:29 Vladimir Shatrov 15:53:30  
2021 Katie Wright 20:19:19 Matt Urbanski 18:04:34 
2023Lucy Bartholomew17:13:27Zach Miller14:41:41

Tarawera Ultra-Trail by UTMB kit list 

The following list is the mandatory kit list for the TMiler. 

  • Headlamp – plus either: one set of spare new batteries, a second headlamp or a portable USB charger 
  • Thermal layer for torso – long sleeved top made from quickdrying thermal fabric such as wool/polypropylene/merino. Cotton, coolmax, lycra and compression garments are not acceptable 
  • Thermal layer for legs – long leggings made from quick-drying thermal fabric such as wool/polypropylene/merino. Cotton, coolmax, lycra and compression garments are not acceptable 
  • Thermal hat – made from wool/ polypropylene/merino (Buffs are accepted but must meet thermal requirements) 
  • Thermal gloves – made from wool/ polypropylene/merino 
  • Waterproof jacket – MUST be seam-sealed/taped and have a hood (example here) 
  • Survival/bivvy bag– not a survival blanket 
    • The survival bag must be sealed everywhere except the top opening (i.e it is a bag, not a blanket) – it must be large enough for you to climb into and pull tight around your shoulders – if it is a single-use bag (most foil survival bags are single use), then it must be in new condition. 
  • Self-adhesive bandage – at least 2m long and 40mm wide 
  • Mobile phone – charged and in a waterproof container or a zip lock bag 
  • Water bottle/collapsible cup/hydration vest or bag 
Patrick Ryan
Written by
Patrick Ryan
Patrick is a major contributor to TRI247 and RUN247. A keen hiker with wide experience in sports journalism, he has covered the Olympics and Commonwealth Games.

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