Ā MĀTOU KŌRERO - OUR STORY
Ā Mātou Whenua - Our Land
We're fortunate enough to traverse many beautiful and sacred lands during Tarawera, and we are thankful to all tangata whenua, iwi and hapu that allow us to traverse across their whenua.
In māori culture, land is central to their identity and culture. Land, or whenua, is their tūrangawaewae, their place to stand. Land is the place to live and the source of life - food.
Māori are related to their land through the mountains, rivers, lakes and forests, as well as the species present through their whakapapa (ancestoral lineage) and will refer to these as part of their identity.
For the iwi around Tarawera, their mountains are Tarawera, Ruawahia and Wahanga, the three peaks that make up what we know as Mt Tarawera, standing at the heart of the Tarawera courses.
The Rotorua region is known for it's stunning and untouched natural landscapes, and particularly for it's geothermal lands. The warmth rising from within the earth is evident in the geysers, volcanoes, and steaming pools all around the region.
Māori believe in kaitiakitanga, the guardianship and protection of the natural environment. We ask all our runners to follow the principles of kaitiakitanga to look after the amazing and sacred lands we pass through, as it is our role to be the guardians of these places.
Ā Mātou Ahurea - Our Culture
Arriving in New Zealand over 1,000 years ago, Māori are the indigenous people of Aotearoa, New Zealand.
Māori arrived from the Polynesian homeland of Hawaiki, with various waka (canoes) landing all over New Zealand. The tangata whenua of the Rotorua region all descend from the Te Arawa waka. Descendents of the Te Arawa waka now make up 56 hapū within the wider Bay of Plenty region, stretching from the coast at Maketū all the way to the mountains at Tongariro.
Rangitihi, an important descendent from the Te Arawa waka, had eight children, who became the eight beating hearts of Te Arawa, and form the iwi residing around the lakes of Rotoura and the lands we cross during Tarawera.
The Māoritanga, or Māori culture of the Rotorua region is rooted in the concept of Manaaki - a reciprocal sharing of warmth. The Te Arawa people are known for their hospitaltity, kindness and generosity towards visitors and guests. They're also known for their great journey not only from Hawaiki, but from the coast inland, and their strength, courage and ihi (essential life force).
Ā MĀTOU Rēhi - Our Race
Starting out in 2009 as the Tarawera Ultramarathon, our event has grown to become New Zealand's Premier Trail Run, and one of the largest Ultra-Trail races in the world.
Founded by Rotorua local Paul Charteris, the race was all about creating an experience of connection with land and people - a way to showcase the amazing natural landscapes of Rotorua, and bring together people from around the world who share a love for running trails.
Originally an 85km race from Rotorua to Kawerau, Paul's home town, the event developed into a full trail running festival, now with 4 distances and catering to a range of trail runners from around the world.
Much like the people and place of Rotorua, the event is built around the concept of manaaki, a reciprocal sharing of warmth and heart - be that the literal warmth from the earth, or the welcoming and hospitality of the runners, volunteers, event crew and community.
The warm energy of the land connects the community to experience trails full of manaaki, and leave with their hearts full. Trails full of heart represents the giving nature of our event - the trails that are full of warmth, the warm and welcoming community full of aroha, and the reason that this event has become known as the big friendly. It represents the heart, courage and ihi that it takes to stand on our start lines and undertake something incredible. It represents the eight beating hearts of Te Arawa, the mana whenua of the lands we're fortunate enough to pass over. Come to Tarawera to experience trails full of manaaki and leave with your heart full.
Tarawera - Release of Heat
Tarawera breaks down into two concepts: A tara is a ray, or the sharp tip of a pounamu spear. Wera is warmth, a release of heat like the eruption of a volcano or the steam rising from the earth.
Te Tohu - Our Symbol
Our tohu represents our people, our place, our culture and our event.
Ngā Tae - Our Colour
Our colour is the Mauri gradient. Mauri is the life force, spirituality and vital essence of a being or entity. This gradient represents the mauri of Tarawera, and contains the colours of our event - the blues of the rivers and lakes, the greens of the native bush and forests, and the deep green of the pounamu our miler finishers receive.
A stunning natural landscape bursting with life and energy, the trails of Tarawera take runners through the inspiring taiao (natural landscapes) of Papatūānuku, the earth mother. Journey through lush native bush, towering redwoods, past 8 glistening lakes and down crystal clear streams.
Don’t just let your eyes take in the beauty – but connect to land on a deeper level by understanding the korero (stories) of the tangata whenua (people of the land) and find respect in these sacred lands you are fortunate enough to traverse.
Just like trail running, the tangata whenua of Tarawera keep whānau (family) at their heart. Our foundations are built on the concept of manaaki – a reciprocal sharing of warmth. The shared warmth of the community is the fire that burns deep inside us all, from the runners to the support crews, volunteers to the event crew, to the local community that welcome us to their trails.
Tarawera is a shared journey, a coming together of the trail running whānau to connect and enjoy the shared passion of trails. Whoever you are, wherever you come from, being with us on our trails makes you part of the whānau.
At Tarawera, we’ve got your back. Tarawera is designed with tutuki (achievement) at its heart – if you want to join us, we’ll support you along your journey, every step of the way.
From the world-renowed aid stations to the incredible volunteers and event crew, we’ll cater to your every need, while our courses are designed with achievability, not impossibility, in mind. Anyone and everyone is welcome on the trails of Tarawera.