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Media Releases

1 May 2017. Wet weather did not deter competitors in Waitomo Trail Run

Nearly 3500 participants took part in the event on Saturday 29 April – including young families and celebrities, alongside elite runners. With routes of 6km, 11km, 22km and 33km, participants faced a challenging karst-studded landscape not normally accessible to the public. Wet weather presented extra challenges on the already adventure packed course.

Rhys Johnson, first finisher of the 35km course from Auckland was competing for the second time. Johnson says:

“It was slippery, I had two big spills, but it was a beautiful course out there.”

Only in its second year, the Waitomo Trail Run is already the largest of its kind in New Zealand, with competitor numbers up by 1900 from last year. Participants included well known elite runner Lydia O’Donnell, and the odd celebrity face. Newshub’s Mike McRoberts and Samantha Hayes competed in the 22km and 11km respectively, along with eliminated Season 3 Bachelorette Sophie Russo who completed the 22km course.

Says Samantha Hayes:
“The course was tough, but scenery made the hard slog worthwhile. Native bush, rocky ridges, muddy clay paths – I loved it especially the slip sliding downhill!”

Her co-host, Mike McRoberts added:
“It was the best mix of challenging course and amazing terrain I’ve run. River crossings, cave tunnels and farmland – it was a real test. The family vibe was great – my own kids Ben and Maia did the 11k and had a ball! What a wonderful part of New Zealand Waitomo is.”

Runners came from both New Zealand and around the world. More than 100 international runners were registered from Australia, the USA, United Kingdom, Finland, Spain, France, Brazil and Singapore.

Says Paul Charteris:
“Some runners appear to be here for the World Masters and added the run on to their New Zealand holiday. No doubt, the unique Waitomo landscape is what has attracted them. It’s spectacular and we’re really pleased to be able to showcase it in this way.”

The Waitomo Trail Run is the first event of its scale to be held in Waitomo, made possible by the input and support from a number of community groups.

The event was a success in terms of sustainability also. Working in partnership with DOC, the Waitomo Trail Run was a ‘cupless’ event – saving an estimated 12,500 cups in the process.

– Ends –



29 March 2017. Waitomo Trail Run Close To Full

Organisers of the Waitomo Trail Run are positively glowing as the event’s popularity has soared in its second year to become the largest trail run in New Zealand.

On Saturday 29 April, more than 3300 runners and walkers alike will experience an opportunity of a lifetime as they traverse one of the most unique geological lines in the world.

There are four distance options in the Waitomo Trail Run including 6, 11, 22 and 33km, which pass through Department of Conservation reserves, as well as private farmland which can only be accessed on race day.

Race Organiser, Paul Charteris, from NZ Trail Runs, says he and business partner Tim Day are restricting entry numbers to make sure there is little disturbance to sensitive natural features.

“Together with the Department of Conservation, we have limited to 1250 runners and walkers the number allowed for the 22 and 33km distances. We have 1180 runners and walkers for those distances so we’re nearly 95% full.

The shortest of the options, the six kilometre distance, is restricted to 1000 runners and walkers. Starting at the entrance to the Ruakuri cave, we need to keep a lid on numbers taking part since the very act of breathing can affect the millions of years old stalactite formations. The six kilometre distance has proven a hit with families and also 95% full with just 50 spaces left. “

The 11km distance option is not limited in numbers so entries will remain open for the foreseeable future.

Located in the ultimate playground in the Waitomo region, the course weaves runners and walkers through an underground and overground thoroughfare of karst-studded landscapes, caves, native bush, vibrant working farms, tunnels, canyons and glowworms.

“We strive to offer life-changing, unforgettable events in stunning locations. We want people to come and discover the ‘hidden Waitomo’ and to explore areas they wouldn’t normally have the opportunity to discover.”

Paul says the event is open to all ages and abilities, offering a unique opportunity to get out and about with family and friends. That is a large part of the events popularity.

“Waitomo Trail Run is about embarking on a unique adventure. Using the term ‘race’ doesn’t define what this event is about. We want our participants to take their time on the course and explore what Waitomo has to offer.”

For further information and entry details go to and



Media Contact
Paul Charteris
Phone: 027 600 0397

Who are NZ Trail runs?
NZ Trail Runs is a team of people dedicated to providing the world’s best trail ultras and marathons. The team is led by Organiser Paul Charteris and Race Director Tim Day. They have brought you events such as the Tarawera Ultra Marathon and the Tarawera Trail Marathon and 50k. The latter was named in The Guardian’s six best trail races in the world.

To learn more about the other NZ Trail Runs events, go to:

14 April 2016: Waitomo Run Showcases Hidden Gems.  Word.doc

Please contact Paul at 027 600 0397 or for any media inquiries.