Ironman has announced the acquisition of the Tarawera Ultra-Marathon, the iconic trail running festival through Rotorua and the surrounding region.

Now in its 11th year, the Tarawera Ultra-Marathon is established as one of New Zealand's and the world's most popular and prestigious trail running events, with over 2000 runners expected for this year's event from February 6 to 10.

Tarawera Ultra-Marathon owner and founder Paul Charteris said they were excited at the opportunity for further growth and development of the event under the guidance of the team at Ironman, a Wanda Sports Holdings Company.

"I am so proud of what the event has become in the past 11 years. The event started as a dream when I was running around in the Sierra Nevada mountains of California, home to the Western States Endurance Run.

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"That dream became a reality when I returned to New Zealand in 2008."

Both Charteris and race director Tim Day will stay on with the event, continuing to deliver a world-class experience with the guidance and support of the Ironman team.

Charteris said the Tarawera Ultra had led the way in New Zealand and globally for the past 11 years.

"It has become one of the most prestigious and popular trail running events in the world.

"What I am most proud of is the community of people this event has helped grow. We've been part of the journey of people's lives.

"Just as the run is woven into the hillsides, forests and around the lakes of this volcanic landscape, the culture of the people of Te Arawa are woven into the event," Charteris said.

"The run takes place in an area of significant spiritual value to the people of Te Arawa and the organisers fully acknowledge that the ability to run the event in such a location is a privilege."

Ironman Oceania managing director Dave Beeche was delighted add the prestigious event to their portfolio.

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"Paul, Tim and the team have done a wonderful job over these past 10 years delivering an event of high quality on some amazing and inspiring trails through the Rotorua heartland.

"We are honoured to now take up the challenge of further growing and nurturing the event on those same values.

"The Tarawera has been built on a love for the customers, looking after them and fostering a close-knit trail running community. The values of the Tarawera are customer-centric, with a focus on delivering a welcoming and friendly event, something that we aspire to in all our events," Beeche said.

"We can't wait to work closely with Paul, Tim and team to take the Tarawera Ultra to an even larger and more globally diverse audience."

2019 Tarawera Ultra-Marathon Trail Running Festival:

- February 6 to 10, 2019
- Rotorua, New Zealand
- 20km, 50km, 102km and 100 miler (160km) race options
- Courses through the Rotorua, Tarawera region and enjoys the co-operation and support of local Iwi
- The 102km race is part of the Ultra-Trail® World Tour. The Tarawera 100 Mile Endurance Run receives investment from the New Zealand Major Events Development Fund.
- The 50km, 102km and 100 miler are qualifying races for UTMB, the world's largest trail race.
- The 102km and 100 miler see runners vie for qualifying spots at the Western States 100-mile Endurance Run, the world's oldest 100-mile trail race
- International competitors predominantly from Australia, Asia and the USA