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First Light Marathon 2024 - Prices from £795.00pp

First Light Marathon 2024

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Book today from only
£795.00
deposit per person
with our payment plans
Based on a total price of £795.00 per person
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Your Experience

In the First Light Marathon, you'll be among the first in the world to greet the day's sun as you tackle this tough course. Before and after the race, you can dive into learning about the rich Maori culture, embark on adventurous excursions, and relax with world-class wine and delicious food in this stunning corner of Aotearoa New Zealand.

For international participants, race entry is only possible in conjunction with a multi-day tour package. The packages include all the ingredients for a fantastic getaway: accommodation, social events, sightseeing, and select meals and transportation per the itinerary. Packages also generally include ample amounts of free time, during which you can choose to join organized excursions or explore the region at your own pace. A half marathon distance is also an option and spectators are welcome to join the tour without race entry.

Inclusions

4 nights accommodation in Tairawhiti Gisborne 

English-speaking tour leader

Arrival and departure transfer between the Tairawhiti Gisborne airport and hotels

Meals according to itinerary inc. Pasta Dinner

Powhiri (Maori welcome) incl. lunch

Guided shakeout run with a beer and fingerfood

Celebration dinner at a local vineyard

Also Available

Race entry – Prices and options below

Additional tours and excursions listed below

Event Entries

Marathon - £88

Half marathon - £50

Race entry includes

English-speaking race officials

Medical team

Time keeping and results

Manned water and supply stations along the route 

Start number and medal

Extensions and Excursions

21st January - Learn to Surf - £65

19th January – Stingray Encounter - £75

20th January – Gisbourne Astro Tours - £50

21th January – Maunga Hikurangi - £210

21th January – Tolaga Bay - £38

15th-18th January – Hobbiton & Bay of Plenty - from £795

22nd-27th January – Lakes and Legends - from £1495

Event Includes

Inclusions

4 nights accommodation in Tairawhiti Gisborne 

English-speaking tour leader

Arrival and departure transfer between the Tairawhiti Gisborne airport and hotels

Meals according to itinerary inc. Pasta Dinner

Powhiri (Maori welcome) incl. lunch

Guided shakeout run with a beer and fingerfood

Celebration dinner at a local vineyard

Also Available

Race entry – Prices and options below

Additional tours and excursions listed below

Event Entries

Marathon - £88

Half marathon - £50

Race entry includes

English-speaking race officials

Medical team

Time keeping and results

Manned water and supply stations along the route 

Start number and medal

Extensions and Excursions

21st January - Learn to Surf - £65

19th January – Stingray Encounter - £75

20th January – Gisbourne Astro Tours - £50

21th January – Maunga Hikurangi - £210

21th January – Tolaga Bay - £38

15th-18th January – Hobbiton & Bay of Plenty - from £795

22nd-27th January – Lakes and Legends - from £1495

Your Itinerary

18 January 2024: Arrival in Tairawhiti Gisborne

All participants will arrive in Tairawhiti Gisborne either by a domestic flight or by bus. There are several options for domestic flights and buses. Tairawhiti Gisborne is about a 6/7 hour drive or a 1 hour flight from Auckland. Alternatively, guests might consider renting a car if you plan on doing a bigger tour around the island. If participants choose to fly to the local Tairawhiti Gisborne airport, transport to the hotel is included. 

Around 18:00, all runners will gather for a relaxed shakeout run of approximately 5km, guided by your a local runner. The run will be a maximum of 5km at a relaxed pace, perfect for starting to get familiar with the beautiful surroundings. After the run, the group will gather for complimentary beer and finger food, where you can get to know your fellow marathon participants and raise a glass to the beginning of our Aotearoa New Zealand adventure.  

If you are joining from one of our post-tour extentsion packages, you will travel overland to meet the group for the 6pm meet.

Meals: Not included

19 January 2024: Traditional Pawhiri 

Early this morning, there is another optional excursion on offer, "Stingray Encounter," in Tatapouri. During this excursion, you will have the opportunity to get up close and personal with stingrays and other reef dwellers on a reef ecology tour. We'll be back to the hotels in time for the rest of the day's activities. 

All participants will get together in the late morning for a traditional Maori welcome ceremony, known as a pawhiri. A pawhiri is a special ritual of encounter and the perfect way for us to experience Maori traditions. It usually takes place at the Maori meeting grounds, called a marae. The ceremony involves singing, dancing, speeches and hongi (pressing of noses in greeting).

After the ceremony, we will enjoy lunch at the marae. The rest of the afternoon is free for you to relax and enjoy the local area. Tonight we will join together for a pasta dinner. 

Meals: Lunch at the Powhiri & pasta dinner  

20 January 2024: Race Day

Today's the big day! 

After an early breakfast at the hotel, you will make your way to the start line, just a short walk away. At the start line, a group of Maori will herald in the new day with Taonga paoro, traditional Maori instruments. As the first light of day crests the horizon, you'll set off with music and excitement thrumming through your body. 

Both the marathon and half-marathon begin at 06:00 and will end at 14:00.

In the evening you can meet other runners at Sunshine Brewery, a boutique brewery from the East Coast, and share your winnings and impressions of today’s run while tasting local top quality beer. The first beer is on us. 

In the evening you can meet other runners at Sunshine Brewery, a boutique brewery from the East Coast, and share your winnings and impressions of today’s run while tasting local top quality beer. The first beer is on us. 

Meals: Light lunch at the finish line

21 January 2024: Optional Excursions & Celebration Dinner

Today, you will have the day free to explore Gisborne at your own pace, or you might opt to join one of our exciting excursions. There will be several optional excursions today. The first option is a tour to Maunga Hikurangi, a sacred mountain of the Ngati Porou people. It is the first point on the mainland to see the sunrise each day. A Ngati Porou guide will teach us about the Maori traditions and share the stories of this sacred place, and its nine whakairo (carvings).

The second option is a walking tour of Tolaga Bay and Cooks Cove. Cooks Cove is named after Captain James Cook, who stopped here in 1769 during his circumnavigation of New Zealand. 

Finally, "Learn to Surf" classes will be offered. Whether you're a complete beginner or you just need to refresh your skills, our skilled instructors will have you riding the waves in no time. 

In the evening all participants will be driven out to the celebration dinner at a local vineyard. Together, we'll toast our accomplishments and enjoy a delicious meal while the sun sets over the vineyard. 

Meals: Celebration Dinner

22 January 2024: Farewell Gisborne or Hello Extension

Sadly, it is time to say goodbye to Tairawhiti Gisborne. After check-out, you'll bid farewell to Aotearoa New Zealand - transfer to the domestic airport is included. Alternatively, if you're not quite ready to say goodbye, join us for an exciting 6-day extension!

Meals: Not included

Need to Know

On Request bookings

Request Bookings will confirm that you have accepted our Booking Conditions.  Your booking is not however, guaranteed until our partner company confirms availability. Please expect confirmation of place within 1-3 days of making your booking. Your card payment details will still be required for the deposit to secure your space, though please be advised this information will be held securely, and the card will only be debited upon confirmation of booking. 

Disclaimer

Albatros Adventure Marathons reserve the right to change the itinerary and/or running course without further notice in the event of extreme weather.

By signing up for this event you agree to the Terms & Conditions.

Visa

Please note that it is each traveler’s responsibility to check visa and passport requirements and ensure that they comply. Obtaining a passport and, if required, a visa, is solely the responsibility of each traveler. Your passport must be valid for at least 3 months after returning from your destination. 

Room options

If you are a solo traveller and choose a shared double room when booking, we will pair you with another traveller of the same gender. If you prefer to have your own room, choose single room. A single supplement will apply.

Travel insurance

Travel insurance is an essential part of any holiday you take, and we highly recommend that you purchase suitable insurance for your trip.

Location

Time limit

The race officially ends at 13:30. This means that both marathon runners and half-marathon runners have a cut-off time of 7 hours. Any runners left on the route after this cut-off time will be collected by car.

Weather

Remember, January is summertime in the southern hemisphere. Summer is the driest season in Tair?whiti Gisborne, but the chance of rain is still around 20% each day. Daytime temperatures will be warm and humid, on average around 24°C / 75°F.

Route Logistics

The route will be well-marked with many small flags, arrows, and kilometer signs. Water stations will be positioned along the route at approximately every 4 kilometers. Some stations will also serve energy drinks, bananas, and energy gels. Personal supplies can be deposited at the start/finish area in a staffed bag drop area. There will be toilets and post-race refreshments in the start/finish area as well. 

Start / Finish

Both the marathon and the half-marathon will start and finish at the boardwalk next to Midway Beach. Bathrooms should be available before the race in the hotel. Refreshments will be waiting for you after the race in the start/finish area. 

Both the marathon and half-marathon will begin at 6:30 and end no later than 13:30.

Surface

The First Light Marathon will be run on a variety of surfaces: pavement, dirt roads, grass, single-track trails, and sandy beach will all be included in this strenuous race. 

Route description

Both the marathon and half-marathon runners will begin on the boardwalk next to Midway Beach. The race starts just before sunrise, and participants will follow the boardwalk out of Tairawhiti Gisborne until the first hills are reached. As runners crest the first hill, they'll be rewarded with a view of the sun slowly rising out over the Pacific Ocean. You will be among the first people in the world to greet the new day as the sun illuminates the landscape around you. 

Both marathon and half-marathon runners will face a series of short, steep hills once they are out of the city. The race is a mix of single-track trails, roads, and off-road surfaces. Half-marathon runners will loop through the hills back toward the city, while marathon runners head out to Wainui Beach for roughly a kilometer through the sand next to the sparkling waves. Then, marathon runners will head back into the hills to tackle even more challenging climbs until they once again reach Tairawhiti Gisborne. 

Both half-marathon and marathon runners will finish the race on the same boardwalk where the race began, running onto Midway Beach for some well-deserved rest and refreshments.  

Note: Do not forget that this is first and foremost an adventure. We are far away from comforts of home and this makes it impossible to offer services at the same level usually provided in city marathons.

 

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Prices from £795.00pp

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First Light Marathon 2024

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