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The Full Story


This is us. Making awesome events that are embeded in and give back to their communities


What is Legend of the Peaks?


Legend of the Peaks is an off-road running festival, open to almost all ages, set in Rotorua, Aotearoa New Zealand. Within the festival there are a number of different races that aim to attract both competitive and non-competitive participants with the premier event being the New Zealand Forest Marathon, an epic 42km race incorporating awesome forest trails, off-road running and hitting all four peaks in the forest making for over 1700m of elevation gain.


The events are:
New Zealand Forest Marathon - 42.8kms, 1750m elevation gain, 4 Peaks

Moerangi Half Marathon - 21kms, 950m elevation gain, 2.5 Peaks

Titokorangi 10K - 10kms, 430m elevation gain, 2 Peaks

5K Trig Loop - 5kms, 140m elevation gain, 1 Peak

Kids Forest Run - 2kms, 45m elevation gain

The festival site will have music, food, expo and a vibe that could see you sipping away on a tasty beverage, chilling to the music while you watch your friends and whānau cross the line after an epic adventure in the forest.


Where is Legend of the Peaks?

The event will be based at the Waipa Mountain Bike Carpark in Rotorua New Zealand, set in the world renowned Whakarewarewa Forest.

The Whakarewarewa Forest in Rotorua is privately owned by the Central North Island Iwi Collective and leased to Timberlands for commercial forestry. However, since the 1970’s the forest has been used by the public for recreational purposes including running, walking, mountain biking and horse riding. The recreational use of the forest is managed on behalf of the owners by the Rotorua Lakes Council. 


In recent years, the forest has become a mecca for mountain biking and also the main staging ground for the internationally owned and popular event, the Tarawera Ultramarathon.


What value does this festival bring?

The festival aims to be an accessible running event for kids of all ages with low entry fees for most students and free entry for others. This is achieved by offsetting operating costs from the adult events and partnering with charities to fund or part-fund kids entries. In addition, being a locally owned event provides locals with opportunities to gain valuable major event management and operational experience, more so with the addition of the internship programme.

We also are strong advocates for developing cultural, environmental and economic benefits too. We will achieve this by being based at the cultural hub of Aotearoa providing organic positive cultural impacts and using our unique positioning to portray stories of local hapu and iwi, developing and maintaining sustainable trails in the Whakarewarewa Forest, committing a percentage of all registration fees to charities and, because we are locally owned, profits stay in Aotearoa New Zealand.


Who owns and runs the event?

The event was originally pitched by the crew of the MDA Group who run events such as Crankworx New Zealand and provide destination management services for business and sports events throughout the Central North Island and greater New Zealand.  The MDA Group is owned by local Rotorua brothers, Tak and Tu Mutu along with their partners, Jayne Hendrikse and Janine Kavanagh.

The MDA Group has teamed up with their event delivery friends Intrinsic Events, with Craig Murray (who is one of the brothers from another mother of Tak and Tu). Craig is the owner and operator of a number of events such as the Capital Enduro and the NZ SME and Entrepreneur Festival.

Between the two businesses there is a wealth of knowledge and expertise in delivering high quality events that are safe, fun and professional.

Our Volunteer Heroes at Crankworx


  • To encourage and promote healthy lifestyles through events and exercise​

  • To present the recreational options of Rotorua to the wider Aotearoa community

  • To combine and exemplify commercial and social outcomes in a single business

  • To make the Whakarewarewa Forest accessible to Rotorua rangatahi

  • To promote the competitive and non-competitive elements of the sports of off-road walking and running

  • To provide mana-whenua with a commercial return from their land

Working in the Community, The MDA Group


Kaitiakitanga - guardians of place and people.

Manaakitanga – building integrity and strength in each other.

Whanaungatanga - creating lasting relationships with all those whose paths we cross.

Kotahitanga - coming together and moving forward as one.

Share the Ride with Whanau - Richie McCaw rides with the kids 1_edited.jpg
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