More than 4000 runners, walkers and joggers are expected to descend on Rotorua's Government Gardens tomorrow as part of the 57th Rotorua Marathon festivities.
And a big group from a local high school is looking forward to being a part of the thousands getting in on the action.
Event Promotions registration manager Jenna Keane said this year would be the biggest year since the event's 50th anniversary.
"I think it's got a lot of tradition behind it and a lot of competitors keep returning because of its uniqueness, being run around Lake Rotorua."
The event - which features a range of distances - has a number of charity partners that participants can choose to race and fundraise for.
Keane said a big highlight of the Rotorua Marathon was the start of the race, when a local Māori group would perform for the participants, followed by a canon start.
"It's also exciting to watch all the participants come back in through the Government Gardens.
"We want to wish everyone well, whether this is their first or 30th time doing the event. We hope everyone has a great day and we can't wait to see everyone down there.
"We are so grateful to be able to have this event, considering what's happening in the rest of the world."
Those who had not entered yet but were wanting to take on a challenge were still able to.
Online entries had closed, so people would need to enter at the registration desk today (2pm-9pm) or tomorrow (6.30am-8am).
Rotorua Girls' High School staff are raring to take to the start line, with 23 staff members taking part in the event.
Principal Sarah Davis said there was a small handful doing the 10km and the rest were doing the half marathon.
She said it was a health and wellness initiative by the school and she was absolutely delighted with the response.
"As a school we decided this year we were going to subsidise any entries into the event and we had 23 staff members put their name down. They had to follow it up by training and being committed.
"We've been excited about the opportunity to be involved with such an important, iconic community event.
"We're going to be out there in big numbers and we're looking forward to having some supporters out there with us as well."
She thought it was also great role-modelling for their students.
The full marathon is the headline race of the event where participants complete the 42.2km "lap of the lake" course around Lake Rotorua.
The event catered for runners and walkers of all levels, with the full marathon (42.2km) and Red Stag Timber off-road Half Marathon (21km), as well as 10km and 5.5km fun runs.
Multiple roads will be closed for the marathon events. For details go to the Rotorua Lakes Council website.
- What: Rotorua Marathon, with full marathon, half marathon, 10km and 5.5km
- When: Saturday, May 8, 6.30am to 4pm
- Where: Energy Events Centre
- Race and entry information at www.rotoruamarathon.co.nz