Race rules

Event Exclusions

Due to Health and Safety, wheeled conveyances (including wheelchairs, baby buggies, scooters, bikes, inline skates) cannot be used for all events. Babies in front packs (or back packs) and accompanying animals are not allowed on the course. Headphones and personal music devices are strongly discouraged.


Event Cut-off Times

Marathon course cut-off times: – Athletes must reach Awatoto Road by 10:30am (13km from the start). Competitors who do not make these cut off times will unfortunately not be permitted to continue due to time constraints and the need to reopen the roads.

Official event closure time: Due to course management and road closure restrictions, the course will officially be closed to all runners and walkers at 4:00pm. We welcome walkers in the Marathon, Half Marathon and 10km distances. We ask all walkers to start behind the runners in the designated section at the start line and give way to runners at all times.


Health & Safety

In the interest of providing a safe and enjoyable event experience for all entrants please take in to account the following.

The course is on smooth hard packed trails and roads that are closed or partially closed to general traffic. These roads will be managed by Traffic Management specialists and where feasible local residents and businesses will be allowed controlled access on closed roads.

  • Please be aware of your surroundings at all times.
  • Keep to the left of the course to allow people to pass on the right.
  • Be courteous to your fellow participants at all times.
  • Please obey instructions from race officials, volunteers and traffic management at all times.

If you have to withdraw from the race please make your way to the next Aid Station and inform the race officials. If you are unable to continue due to a medical emergency, please ask your fellow competitors to inform the next visible race official or volunteer who will be able to inform medical services of your location.

Wave Starts

To ensure a smooth start for all runners, wave starts and self-seeded start zones will be in place at the Marathon, Half Marathon, and 10km Run start lines. Runners will need to gather in the appropriate zone depending on their expected race finish time. The wave start system will release a set number of runners at timed intervals after the start gun is fired.

Your race time is calculated from when you pass over the timing mat on the start line so no-one will be disadvantaged. Introducing wave starts will help everyone to run at their own pace across the course, giving you a true race time. And you can soak up the scenery as much as you choose!

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Timing mats will be located at each race start line and at the finish line. A timing mat will also be located at the half-way point of the Marathon.

Disposable timing chips are attached to the back of your race number and will record your time. Timing chips do not need to be returned.

Timing results will be provided by age group category, and age group placings will be based on participant's mat time. Overall distance placings will be based on the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd Male and Female runner across the finish line.


Competition Rules

The NZ Sotheby's International Realty Hawke's Bay Marathon is run under Drug Free Sport NZ Authority Regulations and the competitive and administrative rules of Athletics New Zealand. Athletes should read and understand these rules and regulations prior to race day. Failure to adhere to these rules and regulations may result in disqualification from the event.

Bag drop

There will be a Bag Drop service available at the start area of each race. Only event Race Bags can be used at Bag Drop (i.e. not a sports bag) and must be labelled with the bag tag attached to your race bib given at Athlete Check-In. Please ensure your Race Gag is labelled before you drop it off at the designated bag drop area. Any gear left at the start line, or discarded and left at any point on the course will be collected and donated to Charity. You must NOT drop any gear at aid stations or anywhere on the course for later retrieval.

Your event Race Bags will be transported to the Event Hub at Elephant Hill Estate & Winery and will be available for you to collect when you complete your race. Please collect your bag by 4:30pm Saturday 20 May before you leave the Event Hub. Any remaining gear will be donated to Charity.


Race day checklist

  • Your race number (and pins to attach it).
  • You official gear bag for bag drop labelled with supplied bag tag.
  • Your shuttle bus sticker if you are taking the Shuttle Bus (this will be printed on your race number).
  • Weather appropriate clothing, plus sunscreen and cap.
  • Please ensure you have completed the back of your race number with your name, any medical conditions and a contact name and phone number (other than your own or someone else running) in case of emergency.
  • Please pin your race number to the front of your T-shirt or running vest and make sure it is clearly visible. You must not use someone else’s number, nor let someone else use yours.
  • Your race number carries your disposable timing chip which is your unique timing device for the race. You must wear your race number to be classified as a starter and a finisher of the race and have your time recorded. Timing chips do not need to be returned.
  • This is a fully supported marathon with 11 Aid stations (6 Aid stations for the half marathon), so you do not need to carry a hydration pack unless you want to. You do not need to wear trail shoes as the course is smooth, easy, hard packed trails.

Aid stations

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Athletes are well supported with aid stations located on course for all distances. Aid stations will provide water, PURE Electrolyte Hydration, toilet facilities and first aid.

The PURE Electrolyte Hydration flavour offered on course will be lemon. For more information on PURE Electrolyte Hydration click here.

There will be 11 aid stations on the marathon course, 6 on the half marathon course and 3 on the 10km course. Please refer to Course maps for aid station locations. 

Shuttle Service 

Make your race morning transportation stress-free and use our easy shuttle service. View timetable and maps on our Transport Services page.

Spectator Info

Event Shuttle Service

A FREE transport service will be in place for friends and family, making it easy for them to get to the finish line at Elephant Hill. This shuttle doesn't need to be pre-booked.  

Spectator shuttle departures will depart from Hawke’s Bay Showground from 7.30am. Return shuttles from Elephant Hill will run frequently throughout the day. 


Pre-Race Spectator Transport:

Pre-Race Depature Location Time Price
Hawke's Bay Showgrounds in Hastings First shuttle departs: 7:30am
Last shuttle departs: 3:15pm


Post-Race Spectator Transport:

Post-Race Depature Location Time  Price
Elephant Hill to Hawke's Bay Showgrounds Last shuttle departs: 3:45pm FREE
Elephant Hill to Napier i-Site Last shuttle departs: 4:00pm FREE



Unfortunately, this year there will not be parking available for friends and family at Elephant Hill or the surrounding roads of the Haumoana area. 

Spectator Transport map



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Event Day Road Closures

There will be a number of road closures across the Hawke's Bay region on event day. Please familiarise yourself with these closures and plan your day and driving routes accordingly


Mobile App

The Runaway Marathon Series mobile app is a fantastic tool for both athletes and supporters. It includes key information on all that is happening at the NZ Sotheby's International Realty Hawke's Bay Marathon, including maps and an athlete tracker so you can follow your friends. Download via your App store below.

Apple Store        Google play

Spectator Viewing Locations

To ensure your support crew, family and friends can see you out there on the event course and cheer you on. We have released a Spectator Location map so you can familiarise yourself with each location.

Sat, 20 May 2023