Celebrating 25 Years


Seeing a gap in the New Zealand running calendar, the Taupo Harrier Club came up with the idea of a mid-winter half marathon. And so it began, with Levenes (now Freedom) as naming sponsors until 2008 when Mizuno came on-board.

691 runners and walkers lined up on the Tongariro North Domain for the inaugural Taupo Half Marathon in 1994. Prize giving was held inside the GLC and hand written certificates were collected on the way out. When the event grew too big for the club to manage, the Taupo Half Marathon Society was formed to take over, with proceeds being distributed to young sports people of the Taupo District. Over $300,000 has been given out to date!

In 2014 Total Sport was contracted to manage the event, bringing with them Hoka One One as the brand new naming sponsors, changing the events identity once again. A 5k and 10k option were added in 2014 and the first full off/on road Taupo Marathon beginning at Huka Falls included the following year.

The event has seen many changes over the years. From manual timing, result booklets and certificates posted out, to the introduction of electronic timings and results on line by the time you finish. With many course tweaks over the years, the turn around at 5 Mile Bay has moved very little from the end of the road. Event numbers peaked at over 4000 keen runners and walkers in 2005 making it the largest stand-alone Half Marathon event in the country.

All four seasons have turned up for the event – sometimes on the same day! And no one will ever forget the 2016 event when it began to snow - much to the delight of many (but not all) runners and walkers who said it only added to their event experience.



In 2018 there will be 5 people on the start line, aiming to complete their 25th Taupo Half Marathon! We take our hats off to these “Absolute legends” who have turned up year after year since 1994.

Christine Ball

I began running in 1981 and switched to walking in 2005 as it was less wear and tear on my body.

My event highlight is walking the Half Marathon with my daughter three times as she carried the latest grandchild in a baby pack. My daughter was walking to get back into shape after childbirth. (We did this with Josh 2009, Bina 2012 and Kipp 2014).

I return year after year because it is always a well-organised event and it is a scenic enjoyable course.

My favourite motivation secret to getting out the door is to arrange to walk with a friend and also to join a walking/running club.

I feel very lucky to have enjoyed good health on the first Sunday/Saturday in August year after year.


Andy Bloomer

I began running when I was at school; over 50 years ago! The sports team coach recommended/required it. It was also in the days of Arthur Lydiard and running for basic fitness. That is still a major part of my reason for running (and biking): to keep up a basic level of fitness. The other is to get out into the lovely environment that we are in. I also need a goal to get me out training, so the Taupo Half Marathon in winter gets me out when it is darker and colder, followed by the Kinloch Half a month later. I also usually cycle Around the Lake, for much the same reason. I mountain bike reasonably regularly but do not have an event to aim for there. I time myself and that tells me whether I am keeping up the effort.

Having done all the Taupo Half Marathons is an added incentive to keep doing so. I have occasionally nudged holidays a week or so one way or another to ensure that I am in Taupo that weekend.

My swimming has dropped off so it is quite a while since I have entered a triathlon: I used to be a regular at the Taupo triathlon.

We are very fortunate in the place we live, to have fantastic tracks and scenery. Most of my road runs involve the Lake Walkway to a greater or less extent and off road runs include the Huka Falls track; both very beautiful tracks, even when the weather is not so good. Huka Falls track/the Rotary Ride is where I MTB too, as well as Craters and the tracks east and west of Kinloch and some of the other more distant, occasionally.

The Taupo Half Marathon is very well organised. At one stage there was a bit of a problem with congestion with slower walkers and runners all bunching up but that has been resolved.

Marion Fournier

Marion FournierI started walking when my favourite gym closed late 1993 and I didn’t fancy other options. A few months later I read about a new half marathon starting up so went along to the local sponsor to collect an entry form and training program and have since completed over 35 half marathons and one full marathon. I come back each year for the atmosphere, beautiful scenery, easy course and just to see how long I can keep doing it. Over the years I have walked in all weather conditions from frosty, icy roads and snow to pouring rain.

My highlight or greatest achievement along with the first event was in 2008 when I completing the event four weeks after finishing chemo and radiation treatments. While my time was not great making it to the finish line was something special and a real celebration.

Having a goal like completing a half marathon is the best motivation for getting me out there training on the cold dark winter mornings and having a hyperactive dog who needs to be walked helps too. Joining the Taupo Harrier Club and having that camaraderie is also good motivation.

Like what you've read? Come celebrate 25 years with us!