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29 September 2020, 11am

New Zealand’s oldest marathon goes ahead, but Auckland runners cannot take part

Rotorua Marathon fields 2000

The 2020 Rotorua Marathon, originally due to take place on 2 May, was held on 26 September with 2000 runners spread among the marathon, half-marathon, 10km and 5.5km events.

Athletics New Zealand, which organises the event, had to postpone from May because of coronavirus restrictions at that time. Since then New Zealand has been cited for the effective action it has taken against the spread of the virus which resulted in low rates of infection and few deaths. New Zealand’s “second wave” came as early as August with a reappearance of infections after 100 days without any transmission being detected.

It wasn’t until the Government’s decision to ease restrictions two weeks before the race that the 56th edition was confirmed. However, remaining restrictions in Auckland meant that runners from New Zealand’s largest city could not take part.

The Rotorua Marathon, with a route covering a lap of Lake Rotorua, is Oceania’s oldest marathon and dates back to 1965.


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