New Zealand's Best Running Events

Looking for the race of a lifetime? Its hard to go past New Zealand
Marathon, Ultras Marathons, trail running, mountain running, cross country, river crossings...oh and of course lots of great Road Races!

I have run the Auckland Marathon, New Zealand's premier and most popular marathon, I have also run in many locations in the South Island, including Christchurch, Queenstown, Arrowtown, Arthur's Pass, Fox Glacier and many more, each run offering stunning scenery and many challenges!

New Zealand is known as the land of adventure and their running events are based on that same exciting theme
Below is a comprehensive list of NZ's greatest and most popular running events. Many of the trail races have entry cut offs so you really need to make sure you get in and register early.

Want to experience some fantastic running in NZ?
Come on the
Lazy Runner Queenstown 2013 Tour


Fullers Wharf to Wharf Fun Run

Auckland- 7km, 12km, 13km, 25km


Moonlight Shotover Marathon,*Marathon 
This race also includes a Half Marathon, 10km and 5km races...The Route follows farm tracks above the Moonlight River and Moke Creek, taking in forests, mountain bluffs, cliff tops and ridgelines and open grassland..offering 360 degree panoramic views of some of the South Islands most stunning scenery.
Join the Lazy Runner Queenstown Tour to this event in 2013

Avalanche Peak Challenge
This is a real mountain race along the northern tip of New Zealands Southern Alps. The ascent is over 1000 metres. Its a tough 25km course and only for experienced runners

Heaphy 50 *Ultra
This is an 80km trail run that transverses the South Islands east to west coast. The Heaphy Track is known as one of New Zealands Great Walks and the landscape is just stunning.

Wanaka Skyline Challenge and Hillend Gutbuster

Wanaka Showgrounds-13.5km, 27km

Buller Gorge Marathon,
Known to be New Zealand's most scenic marathon.The Buller Gorge is on the West Coast of the South Island in New Zealand.The race commences at Hawkes Crag and heads up the gorge to Berlins, then back down the scenic Buller Gorge Highway to a finish at Victoria Square, Westport

Asics Shoe Killer Clinic
Ngaruawahia- 7.5km, 12km, 21km, 20km

Claire Gibbons Wellington to Eastbourne Run
Wellington- 12km, 23.7km

Great Lake Relay- Feb 20
Taupo- 100km

Wellington Round The Bays
Wellington- 7km/21km

Kaweka Challenge
Hastings- 12km, 28km, 41km

North Shore City Coastal Challenge
Auckland- 6km, 11km, 16km, 22km, 33km

Cathay Pacific Half Marathon-
Auckland- 11km, 21.1km


Ports of Auckland Round the Bays
This flat coastal course runs form the city centre to St Heliers Bay- 8.4km

Kingsgate Rotorua Half Marathon
Whakarewarewa Forest- 10km, 21.1km

Bayleys Marathon
, New Plymouth *Marathon

Motatupa Marathon-*Marathon
New Zealands iconic off road marathon

Motutapu Trail Marathon *Marathon
The event will be held on the dual islands of Rangitoto and Motutapu, situated 15 minutes by ferry from downtown Auckland.The marathon starts and finishes at sea level at Home Bay, Motutapu. The marathon is an entirely off-road loop course, and includes contrasting sections on gravel road, single track (forest & volcanic / lava sections), and wide flowing grass track and trails. The total ascent (ie. vertical metres gained) over the course is 1103 metres

90 Mile Beach Te Houtaewa Challenge-*Marathon *Ultra
Far North NZ- 21km, 42km, 60km

Arrowsmith Thee Run, Ashburton-*Marathon
Spectacular high mountain marathon

Tararua Mountain Race

This race is regarded as the hardest mountain run in New Zealand and it follows the classic Southern Crossing route of the Tararua mountain range, north of Wellington. There is a total ascent of 2,250m and a total descent of 2,475m, with a total distance of 35.4km. The average race time is 7½ hours; so you will need a good endurance base to sustain this event

Kaiteriteri Gold Half Marathon
Nelson- 10km, 21km

Mount Lowry Challenge
Wellington- 22km mountain race, 11.8km mountain race

Motatapu Miners Run
This 15km race starts in the scenic Arrowtown in NZ's South Island. Its got it all.. mountain, trail, river crossings and stunning scenery

Tarawera Ultra *Ultra
With distances of 100/85/60 kms this is one hell of a run! The race is a point to point from Rotorua to Kawerau in the Bay of Plenty. The couse is mostly trail, through bush and forest.


Great Forest Events
, Matariki Forest, Waitarere , Levin *Marathon

Routeburn Classic
This is one of NZ's favourite trail runs, in true Lord of the Rings country. The track goes through two national parks and climbs to 1277metres. The route is point to point and can be quite tricky in parts.
Glenorchy- 32km


Routeburn Classic

Te Anua-38km

Rotorua Marathon, *Marathon


Christchurch Marathon *Marathon

Aurora Handicap Marathon, Upper Hutt, *Marathon

Harbour Capital Marathon, Wellington *Marathon
Based at the Capital's famous Westpac Stadium, the fast, flat, scenic route around Wellington's spectacular waterfront.


Furbeaux Lodge Captain Cooks Landing

Picton, 25km

Sri Chinmoy Auckland Run Series

Wellington Three Peaks
25km- event 3

Hutt Five Bridges Marathon, Petone, Lower Hutt *Marathon

Xterra Auckland Running Trail Series


Mizuno Offroad Half Marathon
, Taupo

Woodbourne Half Marathon, Blenheim

Marton Marathon, Marton *Marathon

Butterfly Creek Nighttime Madness


Manawatu Striders Half Marathon, Palmerston
Great Naseby Water Race *Ultra
Naseby- 50km, 80km, 100km
The Great Naseby Water Race is a unique New Zealand Ultramarathon event held in Central Otago.

Butterfly Creek Night Time Madness
Wellington- 8km, 10km, 15km


Abel Tasman Coastal Classic
Known to be one of New Zealands most scenic races...and that is saying something! The race starts at Awaroa and finishes in Marahau, following a stunning route of sandy beaches, beech forests and inland trails.
Motueka- 36km

Hawkes Bay Marathon *Marathon

Greta Valley Marathon Relay- *Marathon
Greta Valley- One hour North of Christchurch

Moro Marathon, Dunedin *Marathon
The Marathon starts close to the Albatross Colony on the Otago Peninsula, runs around the beautiful Otago Harbour before finishing at Watson Park, Port Chalmers.

Whangarei Marathon- *Marathon
Whangarei 10km, 21km, 42km

Lydiard Legend Marathon *Marathon
Waitakere Ranges, West Auckland- 21km, 42km

Takahe to Akaroa Road Relay *Ultra
This classic 80km run starts in Christchurch and finishes in Akoroa. Its a point to point run of eight stages and is very undulating

Tough Guy and Girl
As the name suggests, not for the faint hearted, but lots of fun. Only 12km, but lots of obstacles..and oh yes..the best bit...mud!


Hill Free Half Marathon
Dunedin- 10km, 21km

Subway Dun Run
Nelson- 25km

Wairarapa Marathon *Marathon

Auckland Marathon *Marathon


Southland Marathon *Marathon
This scenic marathon starts from the seaside village of Riverton and follows the Surrey park Track at Invercargill.
There is also a half marathon, a 10km and 5km


The Goat Alpine Adventure Run
- 4th December
The Goat is an exhilarating adventure run from Whakapapa to Turoa Ski Fields on the Round the Mountain track. A distance of 21 kilometres with over 2500m of captivating vertical ascent through a whole bunch of amazing terrain, The Goat is a demanding yet achievable run that is widely acclaimed as one of New Zealand’s premier off road running events.
There are only 500 place available

Kepler Challenge *Ultra
Known to be NZ's premier mountain running event. The Kepler Track is located in the Fiordland National Park
Te Anua, South Island- 60km and 27km

Disclaimer: Whilst all due care is taken when listing the many races on this calendar, to be accurate and correct with dates and links, some errors may occur on research or connecting to race websites. Please always check the race events website or contact details to get more relevant and up to date details on the races listed here. Lazy Runner would be happy for any errors to be reported via the contact form so changes can be made



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