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Tarawera Ultra Trail by UTMB Miler results 2024: MacDonald and Azumi triumph

Jonathan Turner
News Director
Updated on
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America’s Adrian MacDonald and Japan’s Konoka Azumi took the wins in the 100-mile race at the 15th anniversary edition of Tarawera Ultra-Trail by UTMB.

MacDonald stopped the clock at 15:00:57, with New Zealand’s Sam Harvey 29 minutes behind in second. Australia’s Mike Carroll was a further seven minutes behind in third.

In the women’s event, Azumi was even more dominant as she finished in 18:24:53 – which was an hour and a half ahead of Australia’s Chantelle Smith – and placed her seventh overall.

Tarawera Ultra-Trail is a qualifying race for the UTMB World Series Finals at UTMB Mont-Blanc. The top three male and female elites in the Tarawera Miler have secured direct entry into UTMB in 2025.

Men’s race – MacDonald pushed by Harvey

Making his Tarawera debut, MacDonald was the highest ranked athlete in the Miler field and he lived up to his billing despite being pushed hard all day by a strong group of runners, with the lead changing multiple times throughout the race.

“Tarawera is a historic race and it’s one that I’ve always wanted to do, so I’m glad to win here,” said MacDonald.

“I’m tired but I’m also really proud, I thought with 25 miles to go I was just going to be able to cruise in, but then I found out that the gap was only close to six minutes, so my pacer said hey, we’re going to push around Blue Lake and he just took off and I followed. I’ve never run that hard in a Miler before,” he said.

Adrian MacDonald made a successful Tarawera Ultra-Trail by UTMB debut taking the tape in the 100-mile race Photo credit: Cameron McKenzie
Adrian MacDonald made a successful debut in the TMiler [Photo credit: Cameron McKenzie]

Though MacDonald was able to extend his lead over the final section of the race, Kiwi Sam Harvey kept the American on his toes all day – going out hard and continuing to keep the pressure up all day.

It was a strategy similarly employed last year when Harvey blew up toward the end of the race and eventually finished 10th, the difference this year being the measure of control he was able to add into the mix.

“I pushed too hard last year and cooked my chook and I think I could’ve probably come third or fourth last year, instead I came 10th so I was trying to do everything right this year,” said Harvey.

“I still probably pushed too hard from the start, and I think I instigated a bit of chaos because that then ended up with half a dozen guys pushing really hard from the start.

“I’m feeling ecstatic. I’ve done well in races, but this is a whole new feeling, so cool,” he said. “When I finished, I thought, wow, I’ve just got a second; that’s so insane.”

Women’s race – Azumi out on her own

Azumi, the New Zealand based Japanese athlete, was making her Tarawera Miler debut, having previously completed the 102km race on three occasions – finishing second, fifth and seventh.

She was the third highest ranked female Miler on the Tarawera start line and demonstrated her class all day long as she led for the majority of the race.

“I’m so happy to complete the Miler. It’s my first time racing the Miler here so I’m so happy to get the win,” said Azumi. “I enjoyed the 100k three times, good memories, but I wanted to try the longer distance and I’m so happy.”

Pre-race favourites Naomi Brand (ZAF) and Kimino Miyazaki (JPN) had tough days, both pulling out of the race before the 100km mark.

“I couldn’t believe I was in the lead, especially with Naomi and Kimino, they are very strong runners. Before racing I thought they would win. I didn’t worry about the other runners during the race, I just wanted to enjoy it,” Azumi added.

Tarawera Ultra-Trail, New Zealand – Saturday 17th February 2024

TMILER RESULTS – MEN

  1. Adrian MacDonald (USA) – 15:00:57
  2. Sam Harvey (NZL) – 15:29:53
  3. Mike Carroll (AUS) – 15:37:01

TMILER RESULTS – WOMEN

  1. Konoka Azumi (JPN) – 18:24:53
  2. Chantelle Smith (AUS) – 19:55:41
  3. Chrissi Faber (GER) – 21:15:17
Jonathan Turner
Written by
Jonathan Turner
Jonathan Turner is News Director for both TRI247 and RUN247, and is accustomed to big-name interviews, breaking news stories and providing unrivalled coverage for endurance sports.  

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