Run in Paradise - XTERRA Tahiti May 7th

Apr. 20, 2017

On Sunday, May 7th, XTERRA Tahiti is offering the trail run of a lifetime: the 42 km “Marama Nui” Trail Run across the island of Moorea in French Tahiti.

The coast-to-coast race will start on the east coast of the island at the entrance to the Papenoo Valley. A bus will transport athletes from Papeete City Hall to the start at 5:30 am.

Runners will be guided by a truck, which will lead them into the woods of the Papenoo Valley where they will follow single track, cross rivers, and run next to waterfalls for 18 km. 

The Papenoo Valley was formed by the collapse of the Tahiti Nui volcano’s crater. As you run through the valley, you will pass high waterfalls and deep valleys, which hide many archeological structures, old homesteads, and other relics of Tahitian history. For years the valley was called “Te Mano Rahi,” which means “10,000 Warriors,” because for thousands of years, the valley was home to large Tahitian chieftainships.

Runners will see incredible foliage in the valley as well as wild goats and beautiful birds. “You can stop for a snack at a mango or guava tree, and you will feel like you are in paradise,” said race director, Jean-Michel Monot.

After the first aid station, the trail climbs about 600 feet to the Sommerset Tunnel. “Don’t lose hope on the hill,” said Monot. “The view is worth it. Let yourself be led by the Pahu (Polynesian drums) that will motivate you as you face the darkness of the tunnel and run for the light.”

Once out of the tunnel, the course heads down to Vahiria Lake and rolls over beautiful, flowy trails through the rainforest for the next 10 km.

The final 7 km will head along the base of the mountain and into the botanical gardens to the finish.

After the race, don’t miss a fabulous dinner at the Gauguin restaurant near the finish line.

One liter of water is required by all runners, which can be carried in a bottle, backpack, or a more traditional gourd. Aid stations are placed along the route and are well-stocked with Powerade, cold water, and fresh fruit.

On May 6th, the XTERRA Tahiti Off-Road Triathlon will feature some of the best triathletes in the world. In addition to the Marama Nui Trail Run, a Run & Bike will be offered for athletes who wish to partner up on the 42 km course. A 7.5 km fun run and a kids 1.5 km will take place in the botanical gardens.

In last year’s Marama Nui Trail Run, Dominique Bordet of France came in first with a time of 3:26:52. She was followed by Yoann Mornet and Nicolas Danveau who followed in 3:43:24 and 3:45:45.

View last year’s results

View the course map for the Marama Nui and the Run & Bike.  

Learn more and register at

Trail Run