About 270 participants including more than 130 visitors took part in the 45th Round Rarotonga Road Race last year. MELINA ETCHES.22092416
Early tomorrow morning, some 250 runners and walkers will take over the Rarotonga main road for the annual BSP Round Raro Road Race.
This year marks the 46th anniversary of the
iconic race that has shown great resilience in not stopping when the pandemic
brought the world to a stop.
In Rarotonga in 2020 and 2021, the event ran for
locals only before the return of visitors again in 2022.
This year also marks the first year Bank South Pacific
have secured the naming sponsorship of the event although it has been through
generous support from Bank South Pacific, who were the only financial supporter
of the event during the pandemic, that has kept the iconic race running without
tourism income over the pandemic years.
Event managers from Turama Pacific Travel Groups
Destination Management Cook Islands (DMCK) department are truly grateful for
the ongoing support from Bank South Pacific for the race that is the main
fundraising event for Athletics Cook Islands junior development.
“When the chips are down you really find out your true
friends,” says event manager Matariki Wilson of DMCK.
“When the world shut down and the sponsorship support
was zero – David Street and Bank South Pacific didn’t bat an eyelid to continue
to show their support and with the world back in travel business Bank South
Pacific were already at the start line to take on the naming sponsorship of
this beloved event – Meitaki maata BSP.”
Event organisers would also like to say a warm Meitaki
to associate sponsors Vodafone Cook Islands for keeping our volunteers and
event team connected as well as Tourism Cook Islands for ongoing media support.
At 5.30am Saturday morning over 80 runners and walkers
will line up for the 31km race around Rarotonga.
At 7.30am Saturday morning over 160 runners and
walkers will line up for the 10km race starting from the Moana Sands Lagoon Resort
The main race hub and finish line is the National
Auditorium Domes in Tupapa which is open to the public to come along and cheer
on the participants.
Those heading to the markets early in the morning,
please drive carefully along the main road as runners and walkers will be on
the roads from 5.30am.
Please also take extra care and consideration when
driving past any of the 11 water stations around the island.
The water stations are being manned by our wonderful
Cook Islands Girl Guide companies so please drive carefully through these areas
to keep our amazing Girl Guide volunteers safe while they provide the most
crucial component of our event in providing care and compassion for all our
road runners and walkers.
Cook Islands Police will be escorting the early
morning race so please stick to the road rules and practice more care and
consideration for our participants and volunteers on the road.