This race has introduced a fantastic new innovation - a super early swim start. This one is open to any potential starter that expects to be out on the course for over seven and half hours.

For those that started in the early wave, they found it enhanced their experience considerably. Safe and secure in the knowledge that they weren't right out the back of the field, feeling more involved and connect with other competitors.

Please note, on the bike course you must fully comply with all New Zealand road rules. Be prepared to stop. Study the course maps and even go out and check where you turn right after the airport. The marshals will not be on this intersection until after 7 a.m.

This swim start is now compulsory for all competitors:

  • If you expected swim time is an hour plus

  • If your expected bike time is over four hours - or slower than 22.5 km an hour average speed.

Who have recorded the following times at events:

  • Rotorua Half Ironman - six hours thirty plus

  • Ironman in over fourteen hours plus

  • Tauranga Half Ironman - six hours plus

  • Taupo Half Ironman - six hours plus

  • Olympic distance triathlon - longer than three hours

Because of this early option, we will now be pulling cyclists from the course who cannot meet the following cut-off points.

  • 7:30 a.m. - airport

  • 8:00 a.m. - 30 km mark of aid station

  • 9 a.m. - 45 km turnaround point at Lake Rotoma

  • 10:20 a.m. - airport return

  • 11:00 a.m. - bike course closes

1:45 p.m. Course closes

Click through here to make a change to your entry. 


This race prides itself on supporting our competitors down the back just as much as the flash dudes at the front (some would say more so). By nature, there are triathletes that are going to take eight hours plus to get round this course. 

The early swim start at 5:45 AM has made a dramatic difference to the experience for those down the back. For a start, they actually are at the front and get to be whole lot more involved in the race. We love this early swim start.

But we found, that even with a 5:45 AM swim start there are still people that take a super respectable eight hours plus to get round the course.

Our good mates Crawford (race number 001 and depending on is done much training) and Lyksie (race number 002)  are survivors. This year, will be the 19th in a row lining up. These two, bless - need all the time they can get just to get around the course and preserve their survivor status.

Lyksie started it a few years back - he was hitting the water at 5:15. He swims all right does Lyksie so he was generally out of the water and onto the bike by about 6 o'clock - half an hour before the main race even started. He needed to.

With that, we would like to invite a super privileged bunch of competitors that genuinely expect to take eight hours plus to get round our course. 

Trust us.

You will be in the very best of hands - these two have been around the block 18 times now. It means we can sync you guys in better with the rest of the race - there will always be more people around you. It genuinely isn't as crazy as it sounds.

You will have a whole road to yourself for the first few hours - virtually no traffic and then you get to enjoy watching as the flash carries swish by.

With that, we will close the race at 1:45 PM. This gives you 8 hours and 30 minutes to get round. Even then, we still won't pull the timing mats on you. We will just start breaking down as you roll in - a cold beer, a warm shoulder and finish medal with your name on it.

If you want to join this exalted start wave - and met up with these two serial offenders. Click here.