Next month will see one of the islands biggest events taking place for the 39th year: The Annual Round Rarotonga Race. The Round Rarotonga Race is more than just a race; it’s a week-long annual celebration and this year is begins from on 22nd running through to 28th September. The event caters for all abilities, from competitive runners to families and social joggers. It’s an exciting time to visit Rarotonga when the weather’s warm, although there is a chance of some rainfall. Why not combine your next holiday with the chance to take part in a unique sporting event? What better way to make memories?
Running for a great cause
The series of races throughout the week aim to raise funds to help develop junior athletes in the Cook Islands, enabling them to travel to New Zealand and compete in international competitions. The races themselves provide all competitors, whether running 5km or 31km, the opportunity to explore the stunning beauty of Rarotonga as you race around the island’s outer perimeter, soaking up the views by white sandy beaches overlooking the inviting turquoise waters. Sound like paradise? It really is.
Round Rarotonga Race Schedule
The race organisers ensure that races suit all abilities, whether you want to run with your family or perhaps don’t want to run at all but rather walk; there is a distance to suit you. The week kicks off with the 5km fun run and ends with a ‘round the rock’ relay race.
Here is a full breakdown of the events you can take part in this year at Round Rarotonga:
5km Fun Run | Thu 22 September
The week-long sporting event starts off with a 5km Fun Run and is a great chance to get everyone together at the start of the week and have a bit of fun. Many of the runners compete in fancy dress, so bring your best costume and get involved!
Rest Day | Fri 23 September
Friday is a designated rest day and your chance to get out and explore the delights of Rarotonga. Speak to staff at Pacific Resort & Te Manava who’ll be more than happy to tell you about some of the best places to sightsee or simply sit back and enjoy the peaceful Muri Lagoon.
The Main Race Day | Sat 24 September
The 31km main race is on Saturday 24th September and starts from Sinai Hall at 5.30am. The 10km race starts the same day but begins in Muri at 7.30am. The island will be bouncing as people come out to support the participants as they make their way around through the street, circling the island. But of course everyone is eager to see who will be crowned Round Rarotonga Race Champion 2016.
Prize Giving Dinner | Sun 25 September
The day after the big race will be the Round Rarotonga Race prize giving dinner which will commence at 6pm in celebration of the success of all athletes who took part. The medals for the event will also be awarded as the island’s sporting community come together in festivity.
Hash Harriers Birthday Run | Mon 26 September
Another fun event on this year’s calendar is the Hash Harriers Birthday Run which will start at 5.30pm from the Spaghetti House Restaurant. All participants are expected to come in their finest fancy dress, but wigs and hats will be supplied by the Hash Harriers on the day.
Nutter Cross Island Run | Tues 27 September
This is one for the hard-core athletes out there. The Nutters Cross Island run is an 8.5km run journeys from one side of the island to the other across the ridges and rugged valleys of Rarotonga. The record for this race still stands at 45 minutes, so if you think you have got what it takes, this is your chance to become a Round Rarotonga Race legend!
Round the Rock Relay | Wed 28 September
Another fun event and an integral part of the Round Rarotonga Race itinerary. Pull together a team of four people and get yourself to the Spaghetti House Restaurant where the relay will commence at 2.00pm. Teams are encouraged to come dressed up and adopt a theme, so don’t be afraid to look silly! It’s the perfect way to end this fantastic festival of sport.
Booking your accommodation
Round Rarotonga Race week tends to be a busy one on the island, with hundreds of people flocking to Rarotonga to join in with the fun, we recommend booking your accommodation early! Check out some of our great specials and make sure you base yourself in the perfect place to relax and unwind after taking on the challenge of the Round Rarotonga Race.