Organised by Turama Pacific Travel Group and managed by Destination Management Cook Islands (DMCK), the races will be spread across a period of five days, and will see 45 participants competing over the three disciplines – marathon, half-marathon and 10km.
On Monday, runners and supporters will be treated to a pasta dinner at Tamanu House, which will also provide a full race briefing and give an opportunity for final race registrations to be completed.
All three races will begin the next morning at 6am from Ootu Point, and will feature participants from Netherlands, Germany, Scotland, USA, Australia, New Zealand, Austria, Italy, Rarotonga and Aitutaki.
DMCK manager Nina Webb said that they have a special participant, Wyoming man Brent Weigner, AKA ‘Mr World Record’.
“Brent will be running his 325th marathon in his 156th country and he will mark a new world record at our little event,” Webb said.
“He advised us that he is a member of the Country Marathon Club, and that there will be two club members at the event – himself and a fellow member from Germany, Dieter Elster.”
Weigner, competing in the 60-69 category, is the world’s most tenured racer, while Peter Barron, of Scotland, will feature in his first-ever marathon, competing in the 50-59 category.
“Brilliant that we have this spread, as that’s what long-distance running is all about,” Webb said.
The runners will pass through all eight villages on the island, as well as all of the schools.
Following the race day, Wednesday will be a day of relaxing, with the prizegiving at night. The following day will feature a 5km fun run along the runway of the Aitutaki Airport.
Then on the final day the ‘International Star Wars Day Hash Harriers Run’ will take place, held on May 4. (Get it? ‘May the Fourth be with you.’)
The Aitutaki Marathon will be held annually from now on and the dates for next year have already been set for March 25 to March 29, with the main race day being March 26.