On February 11, 2017 the Foundation Clinic Mauao Half Marathon was held in Mt Maunganui, a beach town that occupies a peninsula at the southern end of Tauranga Harbour in New Zealand. At the very tip of the peninsula is a distinctive peak, Mauao, which rises to 230 meters above sea level. There are multiple trails leading up to the summit, some more difficult than others. With breathtaking views of the sea, and tree lined trails, this is a MUST for those seeking great destination races!!!
The race started at 7:30 am at the main beach at Mt Maunganui. It was well organized with marshals to help direct you along the route, which was extremely helpful given that the three laps each had a different course. The three laps could also be divided among relay teams. Each lap circled up to the top and back down. There were aid stations with water and electrolyte drinks, but I opted to bring my own hydration pack, which I highly recommend. This allows you to drink when needed and you will need to stay hydrated with the warm weather and uphill climbs.
The views were stunning and varied from sailboats in the harbor, beautiful rock formations along the coast, tree lined paths, and even sheep along the trail.
It was a small race with 81 solo runners and 37 relay teams that participated this year. The course, however was not closed and towards the end it got a bit crowded with hikers along the route. I finished 4th overall for the women in 2 hours and 9 minutes. Following the race, we were able to relax and enjoy the beautiful beach at the finish line.
For more information and to register for next year’s race:
We hit the Wild Food Organics Cafe and Store on 777 Cameron Road, Tauranga on our way back to Hamilton, a great find thanks to the app, Happy Cow. Great selection of organic products and a small cafe (It closed at 2pm, so get there early) perfect for stocking up on your post race recovery food!