We are excited to announce the date for the 2021 Air New Zealand Rarotonga Triathlon has been set for Saturday, 1st May, 2021. We will open the registration page for online entries as soon as the border with NZ is open for tourists.
2021 AIR NEW ZEALAND RAROTONGA TRIATHLON
Please note all details are subject to change. Refer to race pack and race briefing for final details.
If you have any questions while you browse, please don't hesitate to contact us. We're here to help!
The Triathlon Festival Package includes free entry in each of the events shown on this page. This includes 1 individual or 1 for each team member (2 or 3 person teams).
Additional meal tickets can be purchased for your supporters when you REGISTER.
Also, anyone not competing in the triathlon is welcome to participate in just the Boiler Swim and/or Tour de Raro. If you plan to do so please contact us to set up your registration before the event so that timing chips can be organised.
If you were a past competitor (prior to 2016) please be aware that the transition venue at Nukupere Park, near Muri Lagoon, is no longer being used.
Since 2016, the transition and swim has moved 3km down the road (clockwise) to a site in Tikioki, just past Fruits of Rarotonga.
Please visit our Event Schedule page to view the up-to-date 2021 Triathlon Event schedule.
CITC BOILER SWIM
This is an ocean swim of approximately 800 metres - an out and back around the protruding wreck of the SS Maitai.
It starts and finishes from the shoreline in front of Trader Jack’s Bar & Grill (Ara Tapu, in Avarua) on the Thursday afternoon before the Triathlon, and is a popular event for the triathletes who have just arrived to Rarotonga. It also is well attended by locals and visitors who happen to be on island.
Regarding the course, swimmers will proceed counter clockwise around the wreck and then head back to shore. Please maintain a safe distance from the wreck as you approach the turn. Also keep well away from the reef shoreline that will be on the right following the turnaround.
New Zealand Olympian Nathan Richmond holds the course record of 9:00, set in 2001 under exceptional conditions.
The event is open to anyone. Supporters, local residents and anyone else visiting Rarotonga are all welcome to join the fun.
Please REGISTER as an INDIVIDUAL and select just the "Boiler Swim" entry if you are not competing in the Triathlon, but would like to take part in this race. Register in advance please so we can set up your registration ahead of time.
The Pasta Party follows the Boiler Swim and will be held at the Edgewater Resort.
Anyone who attends the Boiler Swim will need to make their way from Avarua (town centre) to the resort. The distance is about 7k, or a 10min drive, and there is generally plenty of time.
At the Pasta Party there will be a Registration Package pickup for competitors who did not collect at the Boiler Swim.
There will also be a Triathlon Race Briefing during the Pasta Party, so be sure to ask any questions if you are unsure of anything related to the triathlon.
AIR NEW ZEALAND TRIATHLON FESTIVAL
The International Triathlon was first run in 1995. While the majority of competitors each year have come from New Zealand, the event has also had international participants from Australia, Tahiti, USA, Canada and Sweden.
The Cook Islands Triathlon Association Inc. is an affiliated member of the International Triathlon Union (ITU) and ITU race rules for Olympic Distance apply. This includes the following:
No wetsuits or skin suits may be worn as the water will be well above 22C (estimated to be closer to 25C)
Cutting corners or turning before the designated turning points on each leg is not permitted.
Cyclists must put on their helmet and fasten it securely before removing the bike from the rack, and are to keep the helmet on until after the bike is racked following the cycle leg.
It is illegal to draft on the cycle leg behind cyclists or other traffic.
Support crews or outside assistance is not permitted on any leg of the race.
The Rarotonga Triathlon is an invitation event, and the Event organisers may refuse entry to any competitor, on any grounds, and at their own discretion without explanation.
Registration is considered complete after you register and full payment has been received. Note that late fees will apply. Cancellation is subject to committee discretion. Refund policy: 50% refund up until 1 month before the race.
Triathlon Swim Course
The race will commence with an irregular shape one lap 1.5k swim in Tikioki lagoon.
This is described as a 310m leg out toward the reef to marker # 1, a right turn onto the second leg of 300m followed by 3 shorter legs back to marker # 1 and after turning there, straight back to the beach on the final 310m leg.
The first 4 marker buoys will be on swimmers right shoulder at the turn and the final turn will be on swimmers left shoulder. While it is not expected to be much current this can at times change and cross current may be experienced. The tide will be in, providing ample water depths.
Triathlon Bike Course
This cycle leg is an out and back course of Rarotonga’s coastal road (31.2km) beginning and ending at the transition area in Tikioki, plus a loop around the Rarotonga International Airport (10km).
The airport loop starts approximately 18km into the bike course, past the airport, at the turn-off beside the Black Rock Store, which is also the road that leads to the Cook Islands National Hospital. Competitors will climb a hill as the road swings left after 300m, until halfway to the Hospital. A left turn is made (marshals will be present) and the road descends sharply behind the Rarotonga Golf Club and the follows the Ara Metua (inner island road) beside the airport runway (on left).
This is a back road and will be followed until the junction of the “Taro Patch Corner” and the “Cross the Island Trek” route. Marshalls will be at this intersection and direct cyclists left, cautioning any vehicular traffic, and this road will be followed until it meets the coastal road at a new roundabout opposite the Avatiu harbour.
Cyclist will then turn left back onto the coastal road and proceed approximately 3km with the ocean on the right, to a point just before the seawall (just after Nikao Video store) where they will make a “U” turn and return on the coastal road all the way back to the transition area, at the 41k mark.
Race marshals together with members of the Cook Islands Police will be present a the major intersections, however competitors are responsible for knowing the course and are advised to familiarise themselves with the Airport loop. Cyclists will have their numbers recorded along the route to ensure that the course is completed.
The road is not closed to traffic and competitors must use caution at all times. Drafting is not permitted behind vehicles or other cyclists.
Triathlon Run Course
The run leg is a flat, T-shaped course, starting from transition at Titikaveka.
Runners will dismount their bikes and run along the grass verge next to the sea (on left) at the Titikaveka transition area, then turn right next to the registration hall. Upon entering the main coastal road runners will turn right onto the left hand side of the road, keeping to the left as cyclists will be arriving down the right hand seaside of the road.
Runners will cross to the right hand seaside of the road at the road closure area and continue, facing traffic to turnaround.
The turnaround is at 2.5km (soon after the bridge at “Pacific Resort”) where runners will cross the road so they can continue to keep right, and run 2.5km in the opposite direction back to the transition area. Runners will then continue a further 2.5k to the second turnaround.
At the second turnaround (at the Queen’s Representative offices), runners will again cross the road so they can run on the right, and run 2.5k back to the transition area. This time they proceed as directed into the nearest end of the transition area on to the sea front area, down the finishing chute and through the arch into the central transition area at Titikaveka.
The roadway has already been marked at all relative points.
Drink stops will have availability 6 times during the run course. The maximum distance between drink stops is 2km with most available at 1.5km.
Competitors are advised to keep well hydrated. Temperatures during the event are expected to be around 30C.
We like to keep the event fun and enjoyable, and teams in the triathlon event are welcome to participate. All things applicable to individuals are also applicable to team members. “Tagging” of team members will be at the beach side of the transition area and will occur before unracking your bike and after racking your bike.
In entering this event you certify that you are medically fit to complete the event. One of the most important things to remember is to keep your fluid levels up - don’t forget to hydrate well before, during and after the race!
We highly recommend all race participants obtain their own travelers insurance. Better safe than sorry and it never hurts to have that extra assurance. That way you can enjoy your race and trip with confidence and ease, knowing everything is taken care of.
TRIATHLON AWARDS DINNER
The Awards dinner will be held at the Edgewater Resort on Sunday afternoon, the day after the triathlon.
It is your chance to wind down and celebrate your participation in the triathlon and to relive any achievements or mishaps with your friends.
Following the dinner will be the awards presentation to all category winners, plus random draws for flights, provided by event sponsor Air New Zealand. Winners must be present in order to collect their prize.
Music will be played after the presentation, and and the dance floor will open for those wishing to show off their moves :)
RIDE RAROTONGA MOUNTAIN BIKE TOUR
Enjoy this NEW event, started in 2019!
A social mountain bike ride around Rarotonga, with various rugged terrains to pass. There will be the occasional "off bike" excursion such as pushing your bike through thickets of tall grasses, streams, etc. with some good, challenging hills to climb.
The entire tour is expected to take up to 3-4 hours and registration in advance is compulsory (we will explain how you can register early on during Festival week to ensure all who wish to participate are made aware of the details). There is a limit on riders - approximately 30 due to availability of mountain bikes - first booked during the week, first in!
Bikes will be provided for $20 each (not included in triathlon package price) by our friends at Ride Rarotonga. No special cycle shoes required, just your cycle gear and helmet.
HASH RUN + ISLAND FEAST
The Rarotonga chapter of the Hash House Harriers organises an Island Feast for the participants and supporters who are attending the Triathlon Festival.
This event will start with the 'Hash Run' (optional) which ends up on a beach. The location details are announced at the Awards banquet. A delicious assortment of food will be available, prepared by the local Hash House members.
RIDE RAROTONGA CYCLE RACE
The cycle race was added to the list of events in 1998 as an additional event for visiting athletes to compete in and a chance for the Cook Island residents to get some international competition.
The course record is 42:16, set in 2002 by Australian Ironman Luke Bell. Bell was unable to complete the triathlon that year due to an injury but his cycle split in the Tour de Raro has since been unbeatable.
It is a one lap clockwise circumnavigation of Rarotonga’s coastal road (31.2km), starting and ending in Avarua (town centre) on the Tuesday afternoon.
Drafting is permitted. Since many riders will have triathlon style bikes, the rules in this race are that you must not use your profile bars unless you are leading. This is for safety reasons.
While a few will 'go hard' many of the riders will treat this as more of a social ride. So if you are not confident pack rider then just take it easy and just enjoy the views!
Please REGISTER as an INDIVIDUAL and select just the Tour de Raro if you are not competing in the Triathlon but would like to take part in this race. Register in advance so we can set up your registration ahead of time and have a timing chip for you.
CYCLE RACE BBQ and AWARDS
The Tour de Raro BBQ and Awards presentation follows the Tour De Raro cycle race and will be held at the Edgewater Resort.
The cycle race ends in Avarua, so athletes and supporters will need to make their way from Avarua (town centre) to the resort. The distance is about 7km or a 10min drive.
Following the BBQ there will be an awards presentation plus a few novelty random draws.
COMMEMORATIVE TOWELS & T-SHIRTS
For this year's Rarotonga Triathlon, the Festival Package includes one (1) commemorative towel per entry. There will be t-shirts available for sale at the event.