Team up with your friends, grab a famous runner and speed off into the forest for the Great Geyser Rogaine Run, held in Te Puia's Whakarewarewa Valley and surrounding forest on Thursday February 4.

Hosted by the Tarawera Ultramarathon, the Great Geyser Rogaine Run is a one-hour navigation challenge completed in teams of two to five people, that combines the geothermal activity showcased by Te Puia with the beauty and breathtaking sights of nearby forests.

Tarawera Ultramarathon event organiser Paul Charteris said the Rogaine Run was Tarawera Ultra's way of giving back to athletes and support crew who had traveled from abroad for the event, and was also a way to get the community involved.

"At the Te Puia start line, Rogaine runners have the opportunity to rub shoulders with some of the world's best ultramarathon runners and if you're lucky enough, they might just join your team.


"You'll receive a map with a number of points to find just minutes before you start - several spots will be in Te Puia's Whakarewarewa Valley and the reminder will be hidden in the forest.

"You will have an hour to find them all and for every minute that your team arrives after the cut-off time, you lose points. The points worth the most will be located the furthest away so teams need to be strategic about the course they take.

"The rules? Anything goes. Once out of the geyser field you do not need to stick to the tracks - you can jump over logs, run straight up the hills and get yourselves hopelessly lost, it's all part of the fun," Mr Charteris said.

As well as hosting the start and finish line of the Roagine Run, Te Puia is also hosting the official race welcome powhiri, a steambox hangi dinner and kapa haka performances at the start and finish lines of the event.

Te Puia general manager sales and marketing, Kiri Atkinson-Crean, said it was important to share New Zealand's rich Maori culture with race participants whether they were from overseas or locals.

"Athletes have come from all over the world not only to compete, but to experience the beauty of our land and culture, so it's only fitting that Te Puia is involved every step of the way, as it is our mission to share Maori culture with our country and the world.

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"The Great Geyser Rogaine Run will be a fun way for athletes, friends, families and locals to get involved with the event and explore the geothermal features of Te Whakarewarewa Valley."

She said the real stand-out this year will be the kapa haka performance at the start line of the Tarawera Ultramarathon on February 6.

"Performers will take their stance on suspended bridges 12m above the ground on Rotorua's new Redwoods Treewalk, with others performing on the forest floor among athletes for a spectacularly moving farewell."

Event details:
? What: The Great Geyser Rogaine Run
? When: Thursday February 4, 4.45pm to register, Start 5:30pm
? Where: South Carpark, Te Puia, Hemo Rd
? Cost: FREE, including entry into Te Puia for all Rogaine Run participants
? Who: Open to everyone

Athletes to keep an eye out for:
? Current 100km world champ, Jonas Buud (SWE), David Byrne (AUS) and Vajin Armstrong (NZ), Ruby Muir (NZ) and Fiona Hayvice (NZ).