Entries for New Zealand's largest ever ultramarathon and the second stop on the Ultra World Tour have sold out in record time for the 2016 event, along with a record number of international competitors for any running event held in New Zealand.
Being held on February 6, the Tarawera Ultramarathon is a world-class 100km trail run from Rotorua to Kawerau in the Bay of Plenty and this year the international contingent represents 40 per cent of the ultra field.
The 1008 ultra runners participating in the 100km, 85km and 60km events represent 39 countries, including New Zealand, with spots selling out one month earlier this year than in previous years.
Event organiser Paul Charteris said the level of international interest for 2016 highlights the high level of recognition for the unique event and how much ultra running is growing as a sport.
"The level of international interest has been truly phenomenal this year, with 40 per cent of the field coming from overseas - a crazy stat for any big-end New Zealand event.
"It's taken a good eight years to get there, but the event is now known by nearly every ultra marathon runner throughout the world and it's on the bucket list for many due to its truly spectacular and unique nature.
"We also have a huge elite field this year with the current 100km marathon world champion Jonas Buud from Sweden.
"The top runners for 2016 are from all over the globe - North and South America, Europe, Asia, Africa, Australia and New Zealand.
"The Tarawera Ultramarathon is the largest ultra trail run ever run in New Zealand. There are over 600 competitors doing the 100km event alone this year, the greatest number yet, representing just how far the endurance sport has come."
With 210 runners crossing the ditch from Australia for the event next month, 43 will make their way from the United States and 21 from Hong Kong. New Caledonia, France, China, the United Kingdom and Japan are also well represented amongst the field.
Mr Charteris said he is also exceptionally proud of the number of Kiwi entrants.
"From Rotorua alone we have 64 runners entered - that's the total number of runners that took part in 2009. As organisers we're so proud to have that level of home support, it's just incredible.
"We're fortunate to be blessed with amazing trails and the event wouldn't occur without the cooperation and good wishes of the landowners and land managers. We're privileged to have the locations available to us."
The 2016 Tarawera Ultramarathon is taking place on Waitangi Day, February 6.
Starting at the Redwoods centre in Rotorua, runners make their way through undulating terrain and arguably New Zealand's best running scenery, before finishing in Kawerau in the Eastern Bay of Plenty.
The event is part of the Ultra-Trail World Tour, a series of the 11 most prestigious ultra-running races in the world.