rotorua marathon comp logo

The winner of the Rotorua Marathon Real Runner competition has been announced!

The winner is Sam Meade, 28, from Tapawera, Nelson (she and her hubby farm sheep and beef here).  


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Rotorua Marathon commercial and marketing manager Jo Clark says she loved Sam’s story and thought she was “very deserving of the prize”. And what a prize it is: A prize worth $4500 to get Sam run-ready for the Rotorua Marathon event on May 5, 2018.  The package includes accommodation, coaching, wellness advice (from yours truly), asics shoes, a Polynesian Spa prize and more.

Clark says it was incredibly hard to pick a winner from so many heart-felt entries (322 entries, in fact!)

Here was Sam’s entry words:

“I only started running last year, and fell in love…. at the same time both my parents passed away and so I entered a half marathon to distract me from life. It was an amazing experience, but since completing it last December I have struggled with depression/anxiety and chronic fatigue (due to emotional and physical stress, and a 2yr old ❤). I have been unable to run this year because I have been so bloody tired! This would be a great way to ease back into running which I love so much and do my second ever half marathon.”

 We asked Sam to tell us more about herself and she wrote the following:

“We have a 2-and-a-half-year-old daughter Charleigh, and two teenagers (from my husband).

“At the beginning of 2016, I started a weight loss/ fitness challenge with several friends over facebook, and so started running/ walking, eating healthy and doing strength work etc. I also got engaged, and it was coming up to my daughters 1st birthday.

“About this time, my Mother got very ill (she had been fighting breast cancer for 12 years), the cancer had made it to her brain, and she went downhill very fast and passed away within a few months. Two days later, my Dad suffered a fatal heart attack.

“I believe for a long time I was surviving on adrenaline from shock and loss, I knew I needed something to focus my energy on, and so I entered the Hanmer half marathon for Dec 2016. I downloaded the Map My Run app, and loosely followed their training program, also motivated by the facebook challenge with my mates.

“We got married in October, and I completed the half marathon in 2 hrs 18min.

“In 2017 I struggled with anxiety/depression (pre-existing), along with delayed grief. I was so tired all of the time, I could only work on the farm for a couple of hours and then I had to go and have a sleep. I struggled with my daughter, as I just had no energy to give her. I finally went to a natural health GP, and found that I had severely depleted vitamin and mineral levels from post natal depletion, adrenal fatigue, emotional stress (and possibly training hard didn’t help). I missed running but was warned not to over exert myself while trying to heal my body and mind (Also I was too bloody tired!).I am now starting to feel a lot better, I have been taking supplements etc to boost me back into shape.
I am finally ready to run again!”

Good luck Sam with your training for the Rotorua Marathon event’s half-marathon. We look forward to watching your progress and seeing you at the start-line!

Blog by Rachel Grunwell: Rotorua Marathon run ambassador, passionate marathoner, yoga teacher, magazine wellness columnist and blogger. Follow Rachel via InspiredHealth’s Facebook & Instagram.

Rachel's Blog Award-winning writer & recipe creator, magazine columnist, wellness ambassador, yoga teacher & multi-marathoner.