IRONMAN, a Wanda Sports Holdings Company, has announced the acquisition of Tarawera Ultra-Marathon, an iconic Trail Running Festival through the stunning landscape of Rotorua and the surrounding region.
Now in its eleventh year, the Tarawera Ultra-Marathon is established as one of New Zealand’s and the world’s most popular and prestigious trail running events, with over 2000 runners expected for the February 6 to 10 event this year.
“We are excited at the opportunity for further growth and development of the Tarawera Ultra under the guidance of the team at IRONMAN,” said Paul Charteris, owner and founder of Tarawera Ultra-Marathon. “I am so proud of what the event has become in the past 11 years. The event started as a dream when I was running around in the Sierra Nevada mountains of California, home to the Western States Endurance Run. That dream became a reality when I returned to New Zealand in 2008.”
Both Charteris and Race Director Tim Day will stay on with the event, continuing to deliver a world class experience with the guidance and support of the IRONMAN team.
“For the past 11 years, the Tarawera Ultra has led the way in New Zealand and globally. It has become one of the most prestigious and popular trail running events in the world. What I am most proud of is the community of people this event has helped grow. We’ve been part of the journey of people’s lives,” Charteris continued.
One of the keys to that success and the potential for future growth is the event’s location, in the heart of the central North Island. Tarawera is considered the birthplace of tourism in New Zealand and for over 150 years, visitors have been drawn to the natural beauty of the area. Today, Rotorua plays host to more than four million visitors each year.
“Just as the run is woven into the hillsides, forests and around the lakes of this volcanic landscape, the culture of the people of Te Arawa are woven into the event,” said Charteris. “The run takes place in an area of significant spiritual value to the people of Te Arawa and the organisers fully acknowledge that the ability to run the event in such a location as a privilege.”
IRONMAN Oceania Managing Director Dave Beeche is delighted to have added such a prestigious event to the portfolio.
“Paul, Tim and the team have done a wonderful job over these past 10 years delivering an event of high quality on some amazing and inspiring trails through the Rotorua heartland. We are honoured to now take up the challenge of further growing and nurturing the event on those same values.
“The Tarawera has been built on a love for the customers, looking after them and fostering a close-knit trail running community. The values of the Tarawera are customer centric, with a focus on delivering a welcoming and friendly event, something that we aspire to in all our events,” Beeche added. “We can’t wait to work closely with Paul, Tim and team to take the Tarawera Ultra to an even larger and more globally diverse audience.”