Art & Entertainment | Book Reviews | Education | Entertainment Video | Health | Lifestyle | Sport | Sport Video | Search

 

Locals invited to join ultra marathon bid

17 January 2013

Locals invited to join ultra marathon bid

Runners throughout the country are invited to join two ultra-athletes next week [28 Jan – 1 Feb] as they prepare for the gruelling Sahara ultra marathon in April this year.

Greig Rightford and Willy Tokona are running in the Marathon of the Sands (Marathon des Sables) between 4-15 April. The 234km race in the Sahara Desert is described as ‘the toughest footrace in the world’ due to the harsh terrain of sand and loose rock formations and the searing forty degree heat.

As part of their training the two Wellington fitness gurus are running five marathons in five days in five cities. They’ll begin in Dunedin on 28 January and finish in Wellington on 1 February, with training marathons in Christchurch, Auckland and Rotorua in between.

The pair are fundraising for the Malaghan Institute of Medical Research - a New Zealand organisation whose work has global implications. Its focus is to discover cures and improve treatments for such diseases and conditions such as cancer, asthma and arthritis. They hope to raise $50,000 for the charity.

The Malaghan Institute is also the charity partner of AMI Round the Bays, the annual fun run organised by Sport Wellington and attracting up to 14,000 entrants. The final marathon for the pair on 1 February will feature as a training run for many of locals who participate in the event.

Sport Wellington, in coordination with Athletics New Zealand, has organised runners to meet Rightford and Tokona every morning in each of the five cities, to run with them for the start of each marathon.

Training for their ultra marathon has not been easy, especially during the last few months. Rightford broke his neck in October in a mountain bike accident and was training in a neck brace. Tokona injured his hamstring.

“We want to attempt this feat anyway, despite the risks,” says Rightford. “We look forward to ordinary runners throughout New Zealand joining us, to both support the Malaghan Institute and learn more about the Marathon of the Sands,” he says.

How they handle the physical and mental challenge of competing in such an event is a main driver in the pair entering the desert race. A no less important motivation to them is providing inspiration to clients, friends and family - that ordinary people can achieve extraordinary things - with the right attitude, planning and preparation.

AMI Round the Bays event director Craig Ireson says hundreds of runners are expected to start with the two runners each morning, especially in Wellington for the final leg.

Ends

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Culture Headlines | Health Headlines | Education Headlines

 
IHC Tribute: Colin Meads

"While Colin is best known for rugby, to us he is one of a small number of distinguished IHC New Zealand Life Members recognised for their significant support for people with intellectual disabilities," says IHC Chief Executive Ralph Jones. More>>

ALSO:

Howard Davis Review: Tilting at Turbines - The Trip to Spain

Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon have now both broken the Big Fifty barrier, which seems to have brought a whole new level of angst to their midlife adventures ... More>>

Review: A Rose By Any Other Name Would Smell As Sweet

The Royal New Zealand Ballet has accepted the challenge of this heart-touching tragedy and largely succeeded. More>>

ALSO:

NZ's First Male IAAF Gold: Tom Walsh's Historic Shot Put Victory

Although feeling very sore but with a great feeling Tom Walsh took his place as number one on the victory dais to receive his much deserved gold medal. More>>

ALSO:

Scoop Review Of Books: Q&A: Hard To Find Books

"Unfortunately we are in crisis and this friendly dinosaur faces extinction… Our only hope is to try and raise funds to buy the building and restore it to its glory, either fully funded or with a viable deposit." More>>

Kid Lit: Lost Mansfield Story Discovered At Wellington Library

Previously undiscovered letters and a story written by a young Katherine Mansfield were recently unearthed in Wellington City Library’s archives by a local author researching a book about the famous writer. More>>

 
 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • CULTURE
  • HEALTH
  • EDUCATION
 
 
  • Wellington
  • Christchurch
  • Auckland