Participants will be guaranteed a taste of beachside paradise on this charming 21.1km route, which serves up countless picture postcard moments.
Starting near the iconic bronze statue of Wairaka, the Lady on the Rock which sits proudly atop the Turuturu Rock at Whakatāne Heads, the course then switches terrain to the road as it makes its way past the wharf before heading past the cafes, bars and shops of Whakatāne Main Street.
Participants enjoying the twilight start on the last summer day of daylight saving then face the signature 1.7km 7.6% gradient climb out of the township on the native tree lined Hillcrest Road.
Continuing on the road to Ōhope Beach – voted NZ’s Most Loved Beach – runners will then veer left on to a combination of packed trail and pavement through pockets of native bush before catching a first glimpse of the spectacular Eastern Bay coastline. When reaching the bottom of the hill, the route turns left into West End Road to the celebrated West End Surf Beach before heading back beachside through the Mahy Reserve by the iconic Whakatane Surf Club. The course then shifts onto Mair Street left onto Pohutukawa Ave down to Ocean Road through an access way to Harbour Road across and onto the Ōhope Harbourside Trail through to Port Ōhope Wharf. Participants will continue on Harbour Road into the Port Ōhope Recreation Reserve before taking a left turn onto a beach access track down to the iconic Ōhope Beach. The final 1km will be completed on hard-packed sand to the finish line inside the premier Surf & Sand Beachfront Venue. Runners & walkers will then collect their limited edition finisher medals and embrace the beach vibes inside Surf & Sand for the post-race entertainment, including live music, craft food and beverage stalls and prizegiving followed by a special event bonfire on the beach.
The half marathon comprises approximately 20% off road terrain and 80% on road.
The event categories for the half marathon run comprise the following for male and female:
- Under 20
- Masters 40-49
- Masters 50-59
- Master 60+
There will be an open walking category.