Sorry, this event’s been and gone


Sat 25 May 2013, 9:00am

Where: Lake Okataina, Lake Okataina Rd, Rotorua, Bay of Plenty

Restrictions: All Ages

Listed by: Shaun Collins

The Big O Trail Run is a stunningly scenic anti-clockwise loop around Lake Okataina.

The 35km event follows a mix of well established bush walking tracks, private farm tracks and an untracked native bush section (bush-crash!). A 19km version of the course starts at the Rotorua end of the lake and takes in the same course to the finish as the second half of the 35km event, along the Eastern Okataina Walkway.

The 35km course starts at the Okataina Outdoor Education camp (where some participants stayed the night either camping or in bunkrooms) and heads along the beautiful bush tracks of the Western Okataina Walkway. There’s quite a bit of elevation gain in this first section with the highest point in the race at over 700m before the 5km mark.

After the stint along the Western Okataina Walkway the course arrives at the first drink station, which doubles as the 19km event start. From here participants from both events weaved through private farmland over some undulating terrain with views the whole way of Mt Tararewa and the majestic Lake Tarawera below.

At the edge of the farmland you end up just 400 metres short of the Eastern Okataina Walkway. Just a bunch of thick bush separates you from the well maintained track so there's no choice, through the bush you go! Participants follow a clearly marked continuous tape through the bush.

No track is cleared along the tape so you make your own way, ducking under branches and stepping over logs. Once you've made it through to the other end, you're greeted with a bush track down to the Eastern tip of Lake Okataina. Many comments were received in the previous two events about this bush bash section and how it was a highlight of the course.

From here participants head back along the lake edge towards the finish. This track takes you through an amazing array of terrain types from rocky open native bush to darker, mossy beech forest with glimpses of the lake all the way.

After the event everyone gets to enjoy a complementary sausage sizzle as they relive the experience with fellow runners.

The 19km run or walk starts at Millar Road drink station and then follows the same course as the 35km run as described above.

Camping or bunk beds are available at the Okatiana Outdoor Education Camp (the event centre) on both Friday night before the event and Saturday night. Bookings are essential.

The fastest time to date for the 35km course is 2 hours 43 - record currently held by Kerry Suter (Women's record is 3 hours 10 by Annika Smail).

The fastest time to date for the 19km course is 1 hour 39 - record currently held by Veteran Rick Lowe (Women's record is 1 hour 54 held by junior Samantha Blanch).

Restaurants to book near The Big O Trail Run