The first leg begins under the Start/Finish arch on the Village Green.

Walkers are away first, followed by the extraordinary sight of the special start for those in the Fancy Dress World Champs. Then at 10am, the running teams begin.

From the start, everyone will do a short out-and-back lap of the reserve. This ensures our course is an exact 42.2km marathon whilst also giving other team members a second chance to cheer on their first leg runner or walker. You will exit the reserve onto Memorial Drive and cross over Lakefront Drive for a spectacular section along the beautiful Rotorua Lake Front. Follow the path past the Lakeland Queen and beside the Yacht Club to join on to Lake Road.

Download Rotorua Ekiden Course Map

A short hill – the only rise in the entire first leg – takes you past Rotorua Hospital and on to the main section of Lake Road. Follow Lake Road down the hill and at the intersection of Railway Road you will be diverted onto the new rail side utility trail.

The next 4km are flat, straight, scenic and almost entirely traffic free, with just the road crossings at Russell Road and Kawaha Point Road to watch out for vehicles. The track ends at Parawai Road which leads you straight on for another kilometer until you cross Beaumont Road and into Ngongataha Domain and Changeover Point #1.


It is your responsibility to take the upmost care of yourself and those around you. While the changeover points are a lot of fun, you must adhere to the following guidelines:

  • Team drivers MUST enter, park and exit the changeover vicinity slowly and safely. Concentrate on the road and those around you, not the event.
  • Team members, watch out for other cars when you exit or enter your vehicle – you are not bulletproof!
Leg Distance Locations Terrain
Leg 1 7.50 Rotorua Village Green to Ngongotaha Domain Flat
Leg 2 7.88 Ngongotaha Domain to Hamurana Rolling hills
Leg 3 8.43 Hamurana to Marama Resort Long flats, some steep hills
Leg 4 9.27 Marama Resort to Airport Long flats, some hills
Leg 5 3.24 Airport to Puketawhero Park Flat
Leg 6 5.88 Puketawhero Park to Rotorua Village Green Flat