News & Updates

14 December 2023 • Out of Stadia

Historic NZ 5km Road Champs features as part of the Ultimate Roadie weekend

Rebekah Greene triumphed in the women’s race at the inaugural Runway5 at Rotorua Airport earlier this year. Credit: Alisha Lovrich

The inaugural New Zealand 5km Road Championships – featuring as part of the Runway5 – will form a thrilling climax to the 60th anniversary weekend of action at the 2024 Rotorua Marathon on Saturday 4 May.

With the second edition of the New Zealand Road Mile Championships shifting to a new road course at the Rotorua Lakefront with enhanced lighting as part of the Lakefront Mile on Friday 3 May – the two-day event will form the “ultimate roadie weekend” for our passionate distance running community.

The introduction of a national 5km road championship is in step with the international appetite for the distance. The World Road Running Championships in Latvia in October witnessed global championship events on the road over both the mile and 5km distance.

The Runway5 event will take place at Rotorua Airport on a World Athletics certified course starting and finishing outside the main departure lounge. Taking place at night with airport and runway lighting and other lighting towers expect the event to generate a pulsating atmosphere with live music and DJ’s as athlete chase national honours. It will also host a dual club and centre team event across the grades with athletes competing in their club uniforms.

Athletics NZ Competition Manager Jason Cameron said: “The Runway5 at night will provide a truly unique event, and with the first ever national 5km road title on the line it will create an added dimension to the event. With back-to-back national championships up for grabs over a 24-hour period, the national road mile and 5km road championships are two not to be missed events. I would encourage runners to organise their travel plans as soon as possible for what will be an epic weekend of action in Rotorua.”

Entries open for both events in January 2024.

***Athletics NZ can also confirm that the Timaru Ten at Levels Raceway in Timaru will host the 2024 New Zealand 10km Road Championships on Saturday 26 October. Featuring senior, masters and U20 events as well as race walk championships the event has produced some lightning-fast times on a flat, fast course so the venue will prove a popular location for the annual event.