Aitutaki Marathon - Pursuit in Paradise
The Cook Islands will be hosting its first ever Marathon in May, 2018. Taking place on the idyllic island of Aitutaki, and touted as one of the most beautiful marathon routes in the world, runners will pass spectacular viewpoints, villages, lagoons and jungle.
Aitutaki is one of 15 islands that makes up the Cook Islands, located in the heart of the Pacific, halfway between Hawaii and New Zealand.
The inaugural marathon will take place on Tuesday 1st May 2018. On the same week there will also be a 5km fun run and a Star Wars themed Hash Harriers run on 4th May.
All three marathon disciplines start and finish at Ootu Point, a stunning white sand beach at the gateway to Aitutaki Lagoon.
The race is on a combination of Bitumen and coral roads, with an average elevation of 20 meters and maximum of 83 meters, an average slope of 1.6% or -1.5% and maximum of 14.4% and -11.4%.
Running conditions are expected to be great with typical temperatures at that time of year being in the low 20’s (Celsius) at 6am when the race starts, rising to a high of possibly 25C. Average humidity is likely to be less than 50%.
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Aitutaki Marathon race markers:
0-3 – Running the road adjacent to the Aitutaki Runway
3-5 – though the Aitutaki Golf Course and past the Marine Research Centre
6-8 – Eastern Coast Road views all the way along of the lagoon
8-12 - runners will pass through the villages of Vaipeka, Vaipae and Tautu –at marker 11 Runners will pass under the largest banyan Tree on the Island
12-16 – South East, Southern and South Western Coastline views of the lagoon on the left, jungle on the right
16-24 - the Inner Loop through the village of Nikaupara
24-26 - switch back across the island – Marker 9.5 (26) is where the Half Marathon splits off.
28-30 – inner island jungle incline
30 – Piraki Look Out - panoramic views of the island and lagoon/ocean
30- 32 heading back down
32-34 – heading into the main township of Arutanga
34-38 – homeward bound along the western coast through the villages of Ureia and Amuri
38-42 - back along the runway and towards the finish line where they will be able to run through the tape and straight into the lagoon.