Calling all marathon runners – this has to beat pounding the streets of London or New York, surely? Those people who can afford to go, are in for a treat as the Cook Islands are hosting their first ever marathon next year.

Taking place on the idyllic island of Aitutaki, and touted as one of the most beautiful marathon routes in the world, runners will pass spectacular viewpoints, villages, lagoons and jungle.

Aitutaki is one of 15 islands that makes up the Cook Islands, in the heart of the Pacific, halfway between Hawaii and New Zealand.

The inaugural marathon will take place on Tuesday May 1, 2018. On the same week there will also be a 5km fun run and a Star Wars themed Hash Harriers run on May 4.

All three races start and finish at Ootu Point, a stunning white sand beach at the gateway to Aitutaki Lagoon.

The race is on a combination of Bitumen and coral roads, with an average elevation of 20 meters and maximum of 83 meters, an average slope of 1.6% or -1.5% and maximum of 14.4% and -11.4%.

Running conditions are expected to be great with typical temperatures at that time of year being in the low 20C at 6am when the race starts, rising to a high of possibly 25C. Average humidity is likely to be less than 50%.

To enter the marathon go to

Take a look at the map and route:


Aitutaki Marathon race markers:

0-3 – Running the road adjacent to the Aitutaki Runway

3-5 – though the Aitutaki Golf Course and past the Marine Research Centre

6-8 – Eastern Coast Road views all the way along of the lagoon

8-12 – runners will pass through the villages of Vaipeka, Vaipae and Tautu –at marker 11 Runners will pass under the largest banyan Tree on the Island

12-16 – South East, Southern and South Western Coastline views of the lagoon on the left, jungle on the right

16-24  – the Inner Loop through the village of Nikaupara

24-26 – switch back across the island – Marker 9.5 (26) is where the Half Marathon splits off.

28-30 – inner island jungle incline

30 – Piraki Look Out  – panoramic views of the island and lagoon/ocean

30- 32 heading back down

32-34 – heading into the main township of Arutanga

34-38 – homeward bound along the western coast through the villages of Ureia and Amuri

38-42  – back along the runway and towards the finish line where they will be able to run through the tape and straight into the lagoon.

Deal: Austravel ( is offering a 10-night holiday to the Cook Islands from £3,299 per person – a saving of up to £1,200 per couple. The offer includes five nights at the five-star Pacific Resort in Aitutaki and five nights at the four-star Pacific Resort in Raratonga. The offer includes a Lagoon Cruise with Bishops Aitutaki, a Discovery Tour Of Raratonga and all transfers. The package also includes return international flights from Heathrow with Air New Zealand and Singapore Airlines. Based on departure April 28.