Some people will see one marae in a day, if that, but on Saturday April 7, people in Ka waewae tātahi o te Awa Tupua - the Whanganui River Rd Relay - will see eight.

The relay, hosted by Te Oranganui, is for runners or walkers individually or in teams for 55km from Pipiriki to Pungarehu Marae.

The event is in its third year and has become increasingly popular, says organiser Lee-Arna Nepia.

"I was lucky enough to participate in the first one, the numbers have definitely picked up since then, in 2017 I think there were about 200 participants," she said.


"It's a fun event for families, it's quite affordable for anyone who wants to join in on it."

The entry cost of $15 pays for a registration pack and helps with the cost of port-a-loos that are provided along the way.

The relay was created by Kylee Osborne, who organised it for the first two years, because she wanted to see her people connect with their awa (river).

In her first year in charge, Ms Nepia was making plans around the evaluation of last year's relay.

"People want to see a bigger finish at the finish line, rather than get a medal and just cruise on home," she said.

"I'd like to see some bands, but realistically, that might not happen, so we might just have a bit of music playing."

This weekend will also see the addition of food, apparel and health stalls, including nurses on hand for "lift the lip" teeth checks.

Ms Nepia said that Ka waewae tātahi o te Awa Tupua was very important.


"It has a deeper connection for us, being alongside our river and our marae," she said.

"We have kaumātua taking part, we have kids doing it with their parents and it's awesome to see."