There are not many running events in which you go through a forest, circumnavigate two golf courses, run through thermally active Sulphur Bay tracks, past a world famous museum and finish at a lakefront.
The Podium Rotorua Half Marathon has it all and this year both the men's and women's winners were newcomers to the event.
Auckland's Aniel Smith was the first to finish the 21km race, in a time of 1h 28m 18s, and Tauranga's Frances Stringfellow was the fastest woman in 1h 28m 25s.
Stringfellow completed the Boston Marathon in April and said she had been working on improving her half marathon time.
"They're two totally different events. The half marathon is about pace and a marathon is more of mental game, you can have the pace but you have to have the right mentality.
"The first couple of kilometres there was a girl just ahead of me - at the start I tend to go off too quick, so I was quite conscious of that and slowed myself down. I went past her at 3 or 4km and then just carried on. I knew there was a girl maybe 30 seconds behind me so I kept trying to push through.
"It was an awesome race today, I really like the course. I wasn't sure what to expect - I knew there would be a few hills. I love the Redwoods, but in there is pretty hilly so that slowed me down quite a bit," she said.
Men's winner Smith has enjoyed a successful year of running, winning four gold medals and two silver medals at the World Masters Games in April.
He said he was actually a bit disappointed with his pace during the race, but he was pleased to get the win.
"It was pretty humid, I started pretty slow and tried to finish faster and make something of it. I was in second place until about 19km and overtook him with 2km to go and put 100-200m on him.
"I was pretty shocked [to win], for me it wasn't a great race. It was my first time and I quite liked the Redwoods part, it's a really scenic course.
"I'd love to come back and do it again next year, it's good to get out of Auckland and the events are a lot cheaper here. I was a pace runner for the Auckland Marathon, which was quite good preparation for the half," he said.
As well as the half marathon, the event included the Brooks 10km Classic, the Novotel Community 4km Fun Run and Walk and a 2km Kids' Dash.
Race director Rob Docherty said overall about 1450 took part in the event.
"Last year was a really amazing year, we ended up with 1600, so it was a little bit down but the first few years we held the event we only had about 1000. So we're well ahead of that and we're really pleased with it. This is the fifth year, it's starting to establish itself.
"Absolutely the course is unique. Not only because the course is beautiful, but because of the variety, it's not like any other course I know of. You've got road, trail, boardwalk, forest, sulphur tracks, it's really something.
"It lets road runners do their usual running on the roads but also a little bit of trail running and other experiences as well," Docherty said.
Podium Rotorua Half Marathon results
Men: 1. Aniel Smith 1h 21m 18s; 2. Arron Tata 1h 21m 36s; 3. Nick Crocker 1h 22m 26s.
Women: 1. Frances Stringfellow 1h 28m 25s 2. Megan Grant 1h 29m 45s; 3. Corrinne Smit 1h 34m 57s.
Men: 1. Michael Voss 33m 31s; 2. Jayden Thomasen 35m 12s; 3. John Bowe 36m 41s 36m 41s.
Women: Sarah Gardner 36m 52s; 2. Morgan Ball 39m 15s; 3. Emmelie Gulliver 40m 56s.