The 51st anniversary Rotorua Marathon got underway this morning with upwards of 1500 runners and walkers taking part.

The historic marathon features one lap of Lake Rotorua, starting and finishing next to the Energy Events Centre on Queen's Drive.

Thousands more are also taking part in the half marathon, quarter marathon and 5.5km distances on offer today.

A cannon and kapa haka group saw the runners and walkers off this morning at the start line.