Middle-earth Halfling Marathon

Dressing up is nothing new for members of the Rotary Club of Matamata, but in March they took it to the next level – all in the name of community service.

Almost 30 members of the club were roped in as volunteers for the second annual Middle-earth Halfling Marathon, held around the picturesque Hobbiton Movie Set near the Waikato township of Matamata.

Five of the volunteers were involved with the registration of the 1,180 competitors and 21 manned the drink stations around the 21.2km and 11km courses. The lucky thespians in the group got to entertain the runners towards the end of the event in the Green Dragon Pub.

The “actors” were dressed as characters from the Lord of the Rings movie franchise, including Gandalf and appropriately costumed hobbits.

Rotary Club of Matamata Director Stew Wadey says all the local Rotarians were thrilled to assist with the event. “Hobbiton plays an integral part in attracting tens of thousands of tourists to our town each year, so to be able to assist with this novel marathon is really special for us,” Stew says.

“Those that dressed up in costume entertained the runners at the end of a physically challenging event and brought a smile to the entrants’ faces. With our Rotary-branded team on the registration desk and Rotary banners prominently displayed in the main assembly areas, we assured very good public image for our club.

“The event directors appreciated the excellent involvement of our Rotarians, and we look forward to being part of next year’s March event,” Stew says.