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Tarawera Ultra Marathon and 100 Mile Endurance run results

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

Rotorua, New Zealand, turned into the epicentre of world endurance running over the weekend, with the 10th edition of the Tarawera Ultramarathon, this year made extra special with the addition of the inaugural 100 Mile Endurance Run.

If an ultramarathon is already a big challenge, an ultramarathon in a tropical storm is a whole other challenge. Torrential rain made it an extra tough mental and physical challenge for all runners who had to dig deep to find the strength to carry on. The weather conditions made this an extremely tough weekend for every athlete, crew member, race marshall and volunteer out there.

But still, they rose to the challenge and gave it their all.

The 102km, 85km and 62km events were run in reverse this year from the town of Kawerau back to Rotorua with all athletes finishing at the same place, the Government Gardens in Rotorua. The 100 Mile race started and ended at the gardens and the challenging course and ongoing rain from the tropical storm that hit the area that weekend saw a massive impact on those taking part with close to a 50% drop out rate in the Miler.

More than 1000 runners lined up at the different start lines headed towards the Government Gardens in what was one of the biggest challenges of their lives. Hundreds of volunteers and thousands of supporters also braved the rain, standing on the sidelines cheering for every single runner out on the course.

Race Results

The 102km saw the return of American ultrarunner Dylan Bowman who previously won the race in 2015 who once again picked up the winner’s trophy albeit on a much more challenging course.

Dylan Bowman:

"Switching the race [direction] made it more difficult, as you got the easy miles out of the way earlier. Then the hardest part of the race is at the end, when you’re not so fresh. It was really mentally tough.

"It wasn’t a perfect race for me but how can you complain? I’m certainly happy with the result and glad I could make it. I really love this race."

In the woman’s race American Kelly Wolf took the female win in an emotional victory.

Kelly Wolf:

"This race has been on my mind for a while and it has consumed a lot of thought. They were tears of pain at the finish, as the last couple of miles were pretty painful, but they were also tears of joy because it was over!"

The Inaugural 100 Mile event was a brutal course as the combination of days of rain and also over half the course having been run over by shorter distance athletes delivered a real test and challenge to competitors. The first ever race winner was Frenchman Adrien Prigent, the first man home in 19 hours 38 minutes followed a little later by Kiwi Grant Guise. In the women’s race Sally McRae from America was home in 21 hours 11 minutes.

Race Director Tim Day:

"This is an epic achievement for every participant - elite or otherwise. There have been many happy tears from finishers, spectators, staff and volunteers alike. There was hardly a dry eye in the house every time someone crossed the line."

Tarawera Ultra is Race #2 in the Ultra Trail World Tour Series

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