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Runners gear up for Rock Relay races

Tuesday 19 September 2023 | Written by Al Williams | Published in Athletics, Sports

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Runners gear up for Rock Relay races
Andrew Logan and Adriana Skurosz after winning the Nutters Race in 2021. Jakub Postrzygacz/20091629

Runners are converging on Rarotonga for a week of events, kicking off today with the Round Rock Relay.

Round Rock Relay event manager Kevin Henderson said the event is scheduled to get underway at Nukupure Park from 3pm.

Teams of 10 to 20 runners race around the island in a relay form, passing the baton.

Henderson said the event was added, along with the Nutters Run, in the mid-90s, to form a week of running along with the Round Rarotonga Road Race.

He said the mission is to get as many locals to keep fit and “off their bums”, and join in a fun and bonding experience. 

It is coordinated by Athletics Cook Islands.

Henderson encouraged people to get involved.

“Why not, have some fun, bragging rights against fellow rival teams; clubs or businesses. good team sports training and bonding sessions.”  

He said the event had undergone some changes in the past four years, with some areas requiring no changeovers due to traffic dangers.

It had moved from four non-change zones to seven.

He asked motorists to exercise patience during the race, knowing that runners are out there “being fit and enjoying themselves with their fellow runners.”

Held annually in September on Rarotonga, the Round Rarotonga Road Race is geared for the South Pacific holiday makers with “running addictions”.

This event is designed to cater for everyone - the social, recreational and competitive runners, who like to enjoy sandy white beaches, turquoise lagoons and lush tropical hilly terrain in a unique and scenically beautiful environment.

The main event is the 31 kilometre round island road race set for Saturday September 23.

Other more events include the Fun Run and the Hash House Harriers run.

The Nutters Cross Island Run starts in Titikaveka and heads over mountain ridges, across rugged valleys and riverbeds down to the Avatiu Coastline.

This run is not for the fainthearted and with the record still unbeaten at 45 minutes, promises to be an exciting challenge and a great spectator event.

Some races have ‘themes’, while some have a bit of dress-up fun.

Below is a quick rundown of the 2023 Round Raro Road Race week of running:

  • Tuesday 19th - Round Rock Relay
  • Thursday 21st - Fun Run
  • Friday 22nd - Rest, relax 
  • Saturday 23rd - Main Round Road Race Day
  • Sunday 24th - Prize Giving
  • Monday 25th - Hash Run
  • Tuesday 26th - Nutters Cross Island Run