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Auckland Marathon - October. Probably New Zealand's second largest marathon, after Rotorua. A half marathon is run simultaneously. Organization is excellent. Medal for all finishers. The course is a double out and back run along the Auckland waterfront and is almost completely flat. The start/finish has been changed from that of the previous three years because of developments at Viaduct Basin for the America's Cup yacht race. The start is in Fanshawe Street near Victoria Park. Then along Tamaki Drive to the turnaround point at St Heliers Bay, and back again. Turnaround in the City, back to St Heliers Bay and return to finish in Victoria Park. Run The Planet would like to thank Keith Monnington for the cooperation.
Fletcher Challenge Marathon - May. New Zealand's biggest marathon usually attracts 2,000-2,500 runners. The organization is excellent. There are generous prizes on offer, including a spot prize of a trip for two to London. T-shirt for all finishers. The course is a single circuit of Lake Rotorua. Start in the Government Gardens, through the centre of Rotorua on Hinemoa, Fenton, Arawa and Ranolf Streets, into Lake Road and on to Fairy Springs Road. There is a gentle rise up to Fairy Springs (5km) then a gentle drop to the Hamilton turn off. Straight on here to the small shopping centre of Ngongataha (9km). The course then follows the road round the back of the lake, 6km undulating then 3km flat along the lake shore. For the next 2km, the road climbs in a series of undulations to 50m above lake level, then descends back to the lake shore. At 25km it joins State Highway 33 for the run back to Rotorua. 1km further on there is steady climb of 40m over 2km, then a descent. The rest of the course is flat along the main road past the airport. Back in Rotorua, left into Hinemaru Street to finish in the Government Gardens. Run The Planet would like to thank Keith Monnington for the cooperation.