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.


© Scoop Media

Culture Headlines | Health Headlines | Education Headlines


Scoop Review Of Books: Worldly And Unworldly

"Being Magdalene" by Fleur Beale The situations shown in this youth novel are shocking, scary, and very moving as we experience Magdalene’s struggle to be a perfect girl as defined by the cruel and unreasonable leader of “The Children of the Faith”, as she moves reluctantly into young womanhood. More>>

Whistle Stop: Netball NZ To Implement New INF Rules

Netball New Zealand (NNZ) will implement the new Official Rules of Netball, as set down by the International Netball Federation (INF), from January 1, 2016. Key changes include the elimination of whistle following a goal, amendments to injury time and changes to setting a penalty. More>>


Scoop Review Of Books: Waiata Aroha

Vaughan Rapatahana on Chappy by Patricia Grace: With this eminently readable novel Patricia Grace returns to the full-length fiction stage after a hiatus of ten years. More>>

'Ithaca' At Q Theatre: Introducing NZ's World Class Cirque Troupe

NZ’s very own cirque troupe is set to become a household name with the premier of its adaptation of Homer’s Odyssey having secured a key season in Auckland. More>>

Music Awards: The Tuis Are Broody This Year

Topping off a sensationally eventful year both at home and internationally, Nelson born brother-sister duo Broods has taken home four Tuis from this year’s 50th annual Vodafone New Zealand Music Awards. More>>


Sport: Richie McCaw Retires From Rugby

Richie McCaw has today confirmed he is hanging up his boots and retiring from professional rugby. The 34-year-old All Blacks captain and most capped All Black of all time has drawn the curtain on his stunning international career which started in Dublin 14 years ago, almost to the day, and ended in London last month when he hoisted the Webb Ellis Cup aloft for the second time. More>>


John McBeth: On Jonah Lomu

For many New Zealanders, the enormity of Jonah Lomu's reputation will have come as a surprise... His deeds were watched and enthused over by movie stars and musicians, politicians and superstars from other codes. He reached into the lives and homes of millions and mixed with famous people most New Zealanders would only have read about. More>>


Get More From Scoop



Search Scoop  
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news