New Zealand’s Only Ekiden

Set on the beautiful course of the famous Rotorua Marathon.

14th October 2017
The 15th edition of New Zealand’s only Ekiden is set to circumnavigate Lake Rotorua on Saturday 14 October 2017. Join almost 2,000 other runners and walkers for a fun event, a challenging run or walk and a great day out with your mates! The Podium Rotorua Ekiden follows the famous marathon course for 42km, split into six achievable segments that vary in distance from 5km to 8km.

The ekiden was invented in Japan and involves teams of runners passing a tasuki – a traditional Japanese sash – from person to person in lieu of a baton. Running Events are embracing the Japanese heritage of this great event and we’ve adopted the Japanese Kanji symbol for friendship as our logo. What better way to spend a Saturday than a great run or walk with a bunch of your best mates, throwing high fives as you cross the finish line together on Rotorua’s Village Green?

2015 Rotorua Ekiden Highlight Video

Leg Chooser Cheat Sheet…

Leg 1: 7.50km

Mostly flat with lots of mates to run with but its an early start and you can’t blame anyone else if your team is in last place.

Leg One…

Leg 2: 7.88km

Some nice views on a mostly rural track but this leg is one of the longer ones and has some rolling hills to keep you honest.

Leg Two…

Leg 3: 7:93km

Beautiful views throughout a long flat section for the first 5km. After that, it gets mighty steep, mighty quick.

Leg Three…

Leg 4: 8:27km

The longest leg of the race starts flat but has one major climb before the long haul out to the airport.

Leg Four…

Leg 5: 4.74km

The shortest leg of the race includes the longest section beside the busy state highway and into Rotorua’s ‘burbs.

Leg Five…

Leg 6: 5.88km

Glory leg for the show ponies! Wake up slow for a near midday start and enjoy a beaut section through Government Gardens.

Leg Six…

Our competitors are our greatest advocates …

Read on below for some of the many positive comments and feedback we received from the 2015 event.

“Had an awesome weekend in Rotorua.”

“Thanks Rob, Milly and everyone behind the scenes.” – Judy Leishman‎

Your events are definitely on my MUST DO list. Always very well run and I love the prize-givings.
Janine Joubert
Thanks guys we had a great time!! Next year we will enter a men’s walking team and would be keen for a pyramid prize!
Karyn Schischka
We just wanted to say a huge thank you to the event organisers and volunteers that made the Ekiden Race on Saturday such an awesome event! It was a great day with good friends and awesome costumes.

Home of the self-proclaimed Fancy Dress World Champs!

Dress your team up or just come along and be a judge!

We like you … You should like us

Join up to the Rotorua Ekiden facebook page where you will find news, information, announcements, videos and photos from the event.


Gather your team together and let’s do this!

I’m Sold, Enter Now!
Podium Podiatry & Footwear
Novotel Lakeside Rotorua
R-Line Electrolyte Drink
Voyager Luggage
Rotorua Rafting