For many taking part in tomorrow's Rotorua Marathon, getting a great time and making it across the finish line are not the only goals.

This year's Rotorua Marathon is taking place tomorrow, with events running from 8am.

People can run or walk the full marathon lap of Lake Rotorua, the Red Stag Timber Half Marathon through Whakarewarewa Forest, the 10km through the Sulphur Flats or the 5km fun run.

Cherie Reid, Athletics New Zealand digital marketing and communications lead, says about 3500 are expected at the start line of this year's Rotorua Marathon.

Rotorua's Vanessa Fisher is taking part in the half marathon this weekend and raising funds for Diabetes New Zealand. Photo / Shauni James
Rotorua's Vanessa Fisher is taking part in the half marathon this weekend and raising funds for Diabetes New Zealand. Photo / Shauni James

There are 13 Rotorua Marathon charity partners.

Rotorua's Vanessa Fisher will be taking on a half marathon for the first time, while running to raise awareness and funds for Diabetes New Zealand.

Vanessa says she is a type 1 diabetic and was diagnosed when she was 12-years-old.

She says through her run tomorrow she wants to help raise money which can contribute to the work Diabetes NZ does and finding a cure.

Vanessa says there are children 2 and 3-years-old diagnosed everyday and they need a cure.

"There are so many people being diagnosed, and in particular children with type 1, and I just feel they need the support. Raising this money is for the next generation."

She says her running pack will look different from most of the long distance runners, with it including insulin, blood testing equipment and jellybeans.

"I encourage people who have a chronic illness, if they are well enough, to do these sorts of things."


Running for Hope co-ordinator Clare Jessep will run the full marathon and is aiming to raise awareness around people looking out for one another.

Her Running for Hope initiative has a focus on running and how it is beneficial for people with depression. It has been running for nearly two years.

Clare also gets nominations and gives out pamper packs each month to someone who needs a pick-me-up.

She says it is all about prevention and having "eyes and ears" for those around you.

"Running has been incredibly good for my mental health, been empowering and made me realise my spirit is not broken."

People can get in contact through the Running for Hope Rotorua Facebook page.

Rotorua Community Hospice chief executive Jonathon Hagger will also be running the full marathon, for Team Hospice.

He says this will be his 13th marathon and his fifth Rotorua Marathon.

"The distance doesn't get any shorter and the effort needed to run a marathon doesn't get any easier but it's always a great day out."

He says his training has been great and he is enjoying his long runs around Rotorua and through the Redwoods.

"I'm looking forward to being part of an iconic event on behalf of a charity cause.

"Being on my home course makes a difference to the experience with having supporters around the course smiling, giving high fives and cheering me on."

Reid says that as a non-profit itself, Athletics New Zealand is proud there is no cost involved to be a Rotorua Marathon charity partner.

"For many people the Rotorua Marathon is an opportunity to overcome adversity or achieve a life time goal while raising money for charity."

To donate to a charity partner or charity teams go to

Rotorua Marathon charity partners
- New Zealand Red Cross
- Child Cancer Foundation
- Mental Health Foundation NZ
- Achilles International New Zealand
- MND New Zealand
- Rotorua Community Hospice
- Lifeline Aotearoa
- The Lonely Miaow Association
- Diabetes New Zealand
- OXFAM New Zealand
- The Neonatal Trust
- New Zealand Riding for the Disabled