Interview : Tahiti Moorea Marathon

January 19, 2017 07:32   Interview Focus on a race

Credit : Tahiti Moorea Marathon

Hello, you will organize the Tahiti Moorea Marathon which will take place on March 25, 2017. Could you tell us where it is?

The Tahiti Moorea Marathon will start on the island of Moorea located half hour by ferry from the island of Tahiti in the French Polynesia. Every year, this event is a grand party for the island of Moorea and its people.

How old is the race and why was it created in the first place?

We are celebrating the 29th anniversary of this race in 2017 and are planning an extraordinary event for the 30th one which will take place on March 31, 2018. This race was created with the following goals that are still being pursued :

The objectives of the Tahiti Moorea Marathon are:

  • Promote Moorea and the French Polynesia;
    Develop sport-tourism;
    Offer the population a festive event;
    Involve and energize the population of Moorea and its partners;
    Stimulate the island’s economy.

Credit : Tahiti Moorea Marathon

What kind of route have you set up for the runners? How would you describe it?

The Tahiti Moorea Marathon course ranks among the most beautiful exotic marathons in the world with breathtaking scenery and a luxurious and abundant nature that is the epitome of Polynesia’s reputation. A festive atmosphere emerges from the 16 refueling stands placed throughout the circuit. These stands are decorated by the island association who participates in a competition whose theme is chosen by the Organizing Committee to promote the Polynesian Culture and Unity. In 2017, the theme chosen by the Committee is “Flowers and Percussions”. The finishing spot is splendid since it is done on the public beach of Temae which hosts the village of the Marathon and cultural events.

From a technical standpoint, the race takes place on the paved roadway of the road that encircles the island. The itinerary consists of a round trip with a half turn midway. The circuit is 90% flat with a slight drop of about 40 meters around the 12th kilometer (and the 30th on the return). Refreshments are positioned every 2.5 km alternating between drinking water and bathing water and sponges.

How many runners do you expect on Saturday morning? What type of runners do you plan to attract?

We expect about 1,200 participants on all four types of races organized on March 25, 2017, including 80 on the Marathon and 300 on the Half Marathon.

The Marathon runners are largely local but some also come from Metropolitan France, Japan, the United States, Australia and New Zealand.

Credit : Tahiti Moorea Marathon

What are the distances on the agenda?

We offer the following races:

  • a Marathon
  • a Half Marathon
  • a 4.5 km – Color Run
  • 2 free Kids Run races for children with distances of 1km and 1.5km

At that time of the year, what kind of weather can we expect?

Like throughout the rest of the year in the French Polynesian, the weather is hot and humid in March. The temperatures generally vary between 23 and 30°C (73 – 86°F) between the starting time and by the time the last runners will cross the finish line.

The race will start very early in the morning, which will allow one to start running without the sun, which will make its first appearance 1.5 hours into the race.

Have you planned festivities around the event?

The 2017 theme of the Tahiti Moorea Marathon is “Our Marathon, Our Culture”. We are committed to welcoming the participants and to show them what the gist and beauty of the Polynesian culture during their stay on the island. Here is some information about the program:

  • Friday morning: opening of the marathon village with flower wreaths, craft training stands, craft exhibition
  • Friday afternoon: launch of the red thread to make the longest flower wreath in the world. The red thread will be finished Saturday afternoon. Learning the Polynesian Dance with a Tamure marathon
  • Friday evening: popular Pasta Party with spaghetti buffet, Polynesian dance show and fire dancers
  • Saturday: musical entertainment throughout the day, exotic fruit buffet, sampling a Ma’a Tahiti (traditional Tahitian meal) for all participants.

Credit : Tahiti Moorea Marathon

For runners who have never been to Moorea, would you recommend any activities, visits or experiences in general that would help them discover the city before or after the race?

Fridays and Saturdays are spent with the population, on the beach, enjoying the sea and the entertainment that is offered on behalf of the the Tahiti Moorea Marathon. Moorea offers a multitude of possible activities and we recommend the following:

  • a one day boat tour on the Motu (small islands) of Haapiti
  • a tour of the island by car or scooter with a passing glimpse of the Belvedere of Moorea
  • free or guided mountain walks with beautiful scenery on trails recommended by us

In a single sentence, what would you tell the readers of ahotu Marathons to make them register for the Tahiti Moorea Marathon?

The Tahiti Moorea Marathon is Our Marathon, Our Culture, share it with us.


For more information

Interview with Mataara toa Tuiho, member of the organizing committee of the Tahiti Moorea Marathon