Run Mates’ Mistakes: 10 Top Comical Run Stories to Learn From

AD/ By Rachel Grunwell (Rotorua Marathon run ambassador, coach, 25 x marathoner, and a chick who loves to run (mostly to the freezer for ice-cream, or “run away” on run trips with girlfriends shhhhhhhh don’t tell anyone)

You can improve your run performance through consistency, speed-work, doing this sport over time, fuelling your body right and getting enough sleep… those kinds of things.

Heck throw in some beetroot powder, blackcurrant powder, hot/cold therapy, compression tights and yin yoga too for good measure if you are really into trying all you can to boost your run performance.

We can also boost our run performance through learning from our run mates’ mistakes. Seriously. Ask your run friends for some anecdotes of their past run failures and it will give you a good list of things not to repeat. Learn form their mistakes! Also, you’ll get a good belly laugh out of the (often cringe-worthy) stories.

I asked some run-inspired girlfriends to weigh in on this topic. So, some of the tips below are from me, while others are from some of my epic run girlfriends. Share some of your own run mistakes in the comments below too to help fellow runners out! Come on, don’t keep your run mistakes to yourself; Share them for others to laugh at – I mean, er learn from…. 🙂

  1. Pin your run number to your t-shirt well ahead of the race – don’t leave it to the second the start gun goes and end up fumbling around for a few minutes trying to sort that basic stuff out! Those few minutes you spent fumbling might be the few precious minutes that your mate beat you in the race by – and it will be your own stupid fault.
  2. Break in any new run gear – and especially shoes – weeks ahead of race day. Otherwise you’ll likely end up swearing over the chaffing. And chaffing can happen everywhere: ankles, feet, toes, under arms, and yes even your ass. And it HURTS! God it hurts. Did I mention how much it HURTS!!!
  3. While we are on the chaffing topic. Use vaseline to stop chaffing on longer runs. Otherwise you WILL whimper when your raw rubbed skin hits the next shower or bath you have – and every shower following for potentially a week later….
  4. Study the course map. It’s hard to get lost, but you should know your turn points in a course. There is nothing worse than running longer than you have to for that medal.
  5. Have a pre-race plan to meet up with a mate if you plan to run together. Otherwise good luck in finding your mate amongst thousands of others! If you are like me… I finally found my run mate in a Rotorua Marathon event just a few kilometres from the finish line one year!! It made for a lonely ¾ of the race. So I learnt my lesson hard! However the “up side” was that at least my mate helped drag me to the finish-line at the end when I needed him most! This mate may, or may not, be the Chief Executive of Rotorua Community Hospice… yea Jonathon still laughs at me over that failed run plan (amongst others)…
  6. Allow plenty of time before the race to account for the loo queue for that last minute wee. You don’t want to be “that person” in the loo queue when the race gun goes. Or worse, have a full bladder while you wince your way through the first few miles and then, finally, spot a loo that has a queue a mile long with others who have made the same run mistake.
  7. Test new energy gels BEFORE race day. Otherwise pooping could be a problem.
  8. Don’t go out running too fast too soon – or you will finish the race crying and crawling. Pace yourself. Plan to run the last kilometres strong and you’ll finish with a smile.
  9. Slow down for race pictures and smile when you see a race camera out on the course (and pretend for a moment you are enjoying the event even if you aren’t!) People who look good in their race pictures have mastered this trick. The rest of us look like we are hunched over crazies with maddened looks glued to our faces. ie NOT pretty (or handsome).
  10. Don’t wear light coloured shorts or tights. They show up mud, (awkward sweat), awkward non-sweat, mud, and if it rains… it looks like awkward non-sweat…
  • This post is kindly sponsored by the Rotorua Marathon event. I’m a proud run ambassador for NZ’s most iconic – and one of the longest running – run events in this country. Enter a distance and be part of this epic event – there’s a 5km, 10km, 21km, or 42km distance to choose from Enter HERE

10 Tips to Fuel Your Run Game

By Rachel Grunwell – Rotorua Marathon Ambassador, Coach, 25 X Marathoner, and Author of the book Balance: Food, Health + Happiness

Sign up for the Rotorua Marathon event on May 7 by clicking HERE

Running more miles is not the only way to uplift your run performance. Lifestyle factors can play a big part. Here are 10 tips to fuel your run performance. Choose one idea and incorporate it and see how you feel!

  1. Consider cutting back on your alcohol intake while training for an event. Alcohol can impact on your performance, energy levels and even impact sleep quality (which helps you to perform at your best). I’m personally all about “balance”. I have some drinks socially and savour them. But I know how drinking the night before a run can feel (it’s not pretty!) and so I’m keen to avoid that  personally! Alcohol impacts everyone differently. So ask yourself if you could pull back on this to help you power forward with your run game too.
  2. Adopt a sleep routine. Like babies, we can really benefit from sleeping enough hours daily (7.5 hours roughly for adults and even more sleep is required for kids and elite athletes). Sleep is when you repair, rest, and essentially get stronger. My sleep routine is a bath to help me wind down before bed-time and I always turn the lights out by 10pm so I can aim to sleep like a baby (and train like a beast at 6am)!
  3. Eat beetroot or drink it in a juice. The raw veg isn’t king either – the freeze-dried powder in packets is just as good (and sometimes actually better)! Beetroot has nitrates which gets converted to nitric oxide in your body. This relaxes blood vessels and can lead to lowering your blood pressure. You can grate it in salads or chop it up and put it in a blender to make a juice. Here’s a recipe I show you how to make on a vid. Click HERE.
  4. Master your mindset. What the mind believes, the mind can achieve. Look, everyone is in “the hurt locker” during any event – even the elite athletes (who are obviously running faster than most of us, of course)! What drives your stride to keep powering on… is down to your mindset. Stay strong, confident, stick in there and just keep going. You can do this.
  5. Eat more greens. Eat all colours of the rainbow in fact. These contain micronutrients and help to fill you up, keep you healthy and are a key to good weight management.
  6. Lose a few kilograms if you are overweight. If you are lighter then you can run stronger and faster!
  7. Eat enough protein so you can maintain the muscle you build when you run (which is metabolism-boosting). The World Health Organisation (WHO) recommendations are 1.4-5g per kg of body weight. But I personally have 1.6-2.2g per kilo of body weight (as recommended to me by a professor and dietitian in NZ).
  8. Get a coach to help you train to your highest potential (and help you avoid getting injured). Having a coach gets you to your goals smarter and faster.
  9. Use meditation and yoga to calm your nervous system so you can perform at your best. Yoga helps bring length back to tight run muscles. Meditation is research-backed to help you chill out and feel more relaxed and recharged.
  10. Sign up for an event to keep you motivated towards your run goal. This scares you into action and gives you a deadline to aim for to keep accountable! Also, follow other runners on instagram. ie I follow the things like #rotoruamarathon #nzrunners etc on instagram, I’m on strava and I love finding other fellow runners to get Inspo and feel connected to this epic cool community. Find more of your tribe too. It helps keep you excited about running!

How Stress Stuffs Up Your Run Performance + 3 Top Tips to Manage Stress

By Rachel Grunwell

(AD) Stress can stuff up your run performance. Too much stress can also increase your tiredness and fatigue and leave you with poor cognitive (thinking) ability. Hello fuzzy brain!

Some stress is normal in every day life. It helps you to get tasks done. But when you get overly stressed for long periods it can lead to burn out over time, poor sleep quality and put you into a real “run funk”. Stress also leads to elevated cortisol which decreases muscle mass – and muscle mass is handy to hang onto as a runner because this helps you to be strong when trying to power up hills! And the Rotorua Marathon event does have a few hills…

In simple speak, too much stress slows your run journey down. So here are some tips to manage stress…

5 Tips to Manage Stress

  1. Sleep well to feel at your optimum and have the energy to run well. Get 7.5 hours-8 hours nightly. Kids need more sleep and highly active individuals and athletes can benefit from even more than the standard hours of sleep. Sleep helps your with having sharper concentration, more energy, improves your memory, improves muscle regeneration, is good for your immune system and also increases your ability to manage stress! Sleep is a free recovery tool to optimise your performance. Sleep deprivation can also exhaust you faster, Getting less than eight hours’ sleep can also increase the likelihood of injury. So sleep like a baby, so you can run like a beast! ps 10pm-2am is the golden hour for sleep. So tuck up tight early on.
  2. Try having tart cherry juice (about 50ml) before bed to help you sleep after a hard and long training run. These berries pack a punch of antioxidant power, which supports joint mobility and helps protect your body from free radical damage. The berries also contain Vitamin A and beta carotene. There is research too that claims. the juice enhances immune system function, has a potent anti inflammatory effect and may increase melatonin levels to help people sleep well…. So it’s worth a try….
  3. Stretch or do yoga for 20-minutes to wind down and feel more in balance in your body and mind. While you stretch, use diaphragmatic breathing (deep belly breathing) which helps to calm your nervous system. Meditation is an element of yoga and helpful too for feeling happier. If you are new to trying meditation, then just do it for one minute. Here is a one minute meditation to try via my instagram page that’s easy, quick and I hope it helps your to unwind. Click HERE

This post was sponsored by the Rotorua Marathon event, which is being held on May 7, 2022. To enter a distance (full marathon, red stag timber half marathon, Go Media 10km or 5.5km) ENTER HERE

Rachel is the Rotorua Marathon ambassador (she has run 25 marathons including the Rotorua Marathon event five times). She is a wellness expert, and qualified coach. She’s the proud author too of the book Balance: Food, Health + Happiness which is full of lots of running, nutrition and wellness advice.

7 Science-Backed Health Benefits of Running – a professor gives the low-down

(AD) Blog by Rachel Grunwell: Multi-marathoner, coach, yoga teacher, author, wellness journalist, and proud Rotorua Marathon ambassador.

If you want to live longer and have a better quality of life – then run!

It doesn’t matter if you run slow or fast either. There are so many health benefits that it doesn’t actually matter what your speed is. Just keep running – and you’ll get better, stronger, and faster over time.

Here are 7 health benefits of running – according to Andrew Kilding, a professor of sport and exercise physiology at the Sports Performance Research Institute of New Zealand. 

I interviewed Professor Kilding for a 6-page article for the NZ  Women’s Weekly magazine on running recently and he listed these awesome health benefits of running:

  1. Running improves the function and structure of the heart. He explains that as we age, our arteries can “stiffen”. Regular running gets the heart pumping and gives the arteries a real work out. This keeps them “pliable”. The increased blood flow associated with running also helps stop fatty deposits accumulating on the artery walls, which can narrow the arteries and result in high blood pressure at rest – which is not a good thing.
  2. Being on the run burns kilojoules, speeding up your metabolism. This is helpful for weight management. “Your metabolic rate is increased for a few hours afterwards,” he says, but he’s quick to note that “you can’t out-run a bad diet,” he says.
  3. Exercise (and particularly running) also improves resting heart rate and increases aerobic fitness. Professor Kilding says a high level of aerobic fitness has been shown to be one of the best-known indicators of an individual’s long-term health. He explains that in 2016, Duck-Chul Lee, a professor of kinesiology at Iowa State University, found that even 5-10 minutes running per day at a slow speed is associated with markedly reduced risks of death from cardiovascular disease.
  4. Regular running improves the body’s ability to transport oxygen around the body, so we get more efficient at running, and other physical activities also start to feel easier. Hello feeling fitter!
  5.  Running – or habitual exercise – is associated with a greater quality of life and could also lengthen it, too.
  6.  Running improves your bone and joint health. This is because running is a weight-bearing activity. The impact loads the bones and this results in them strengthening. “This is especially important in later life. Running can be a strategy to maintain bone health,” Professor Kilding says.
  7. Running helps your mental health. “We tend to forget about the mental benefits of running. It reduces depression, anxiety and stress, and can help with cognition, memory and sleep.  Professor Kilding says “I make sure I get out for a run a few times a week. For me, it’s just about getting some time and space on my own, switching off and importantly, getting time in nature.” 

Enter a distance at the Rotorua Marathon HERE

Follow Rachel for more run & injury-prevention tips and inspiration on INSTAGRAM and the InspiredHealthNZ Facebook page.

Order a copy of Rachel’s book Balance: Food, Health + Happiness Here

Health-Inspired Xmas Gifts

By Rachel Grunwell

AD – This content is kindly sponsored by FitbitNZ. Rachel is a Fitbit ambassador and proud spokesperson.

Make your Xmas gift count this year by giving something that inspires good health and an inner or outer glow! Here are some of my top picks of things I LOVE and back…

  1. Fitbit Sense watch. This really is the ultimate Christmas Prezzie (for yourself or someone you love). This watch can help you to transform your health. It will help you to be sleep fit (monitor your sleep score!), be heart rate fit (this device can detect your resting heart rate score with incredible technology) , be brain fit (the watch can guide you through mindfulness exercises to help you manage your stress levels) and be body fit (monitor your exercise and nutrition too through the watch)! I’ve worn a Fitbit watch for about eight years now and LOVE this brand. This latest watch is Fitbit’s most advanced health smartwatch. I wear it everywhere including running (it measures steps done, kms run, distance run, run pace and keeps check on my heart rate levels). It’s so easy to use that it really is the ultimate run watch. I wear it to de-stress (the mindfulness exercise for two minutes is my fave and can calm my nervous system so quickly). I wear it to bed to check my sleep score, which has been so interesting. And I wear it whether I’m in a dress and heels or wearing lycra to teach yoga. I wear my Fitbit Sense more than jewellery! This really is the ultimate Xmas prezzie. This gift also keeps giving – it will be worn for years to come.
  2. An entry into the Rotorua Marathon event on May 8, 2021. This will inspire action on a fitness goal to get fitter and healthier – and as a ripple effect, exercise uplifts your happiness levels. This is NZ’s most iconic run event which has a fun run, 10km run through stunning and unique sulphur flats, a half marathon forest off-road run and a road marathon where you lap Lake Rotorua. Take the family for the weekend too and explore Rotorua. There’s adventure on your doorstep, great places to eat, a City full of beautiful Maori culture and lots of lakes and forest walks to explore.

3. A health inspired book. How about Luke Hines’ book Barbecue this! which has 80 quick, vibrant and flavour-packed dishes for weeknights, or for times of entertaining. Or a great book for managing anxiety that hell help you feel calmer via teaching calming breathing techniques is Dot, by Kieran E. Scott. Or of course, I’m biased in also recommending my own full colour book Balance: Food, Health + Happiness which boasts 30 global experts on how to be healthier and happier + 30 nourishing recipes. The book has tips around nutrition, neuroscience, psychology, emotional intelligence, de-cluttering, fitness, losing weight, feeling happier and more. My fave expert in the book is Shaun Achor, a happiness researcher from Texas. You can order it through this website HERE.

Balance Book by Rachel Grunwell Page 56
Here’s a recipe page from the book Balance: Food, Health + Happiness

4. Natural beauty products that support your outer health. My top picks right now are Linden Leaves Miraculous Facial Oil (a light formula that’s NZ-made for more youthful, nourished skin), Nellie’s Tier’s face mist (to refresh and hydrate with the incredible perfume of a blend of floral waters), or Weleda’s Birch oil (to put on my body post exercise for muscle recovery. The fresh smell of this, feel of it and it’s purpose is pretty rad).

5. Sponsor a charity. My top pick is the Cambodia Charitable Trust which helps kids access education, and more, in Cambodia. I bought a bag of rice for $60 which will help feed a family for a month. The lawyer who started this trust lives in Tauranga and she features in my book Balance. She helps thousands of kids in Cambodia now and her work is extraordinary. Help her to make more of a difference in the world by helping this trust with whatever amount that you want. Whatever you gift will be super appreciated.

6. A voucher for a retreat. Indulge your loved one (or yourself!) in a blissful weekend getaway at Rotorua’s Mindful Moments retreat. The dates are now up on the Polynesian Spa’s website for 2021. This getaway boasts a beauty treatment at the spa, a premium good bag, lunch on both days, spa dips in the 28 pools on site at the spa, yoga, mindfulness, meditation sessions, a forest walk, a wellness workshop and more. This is such an affordable retreat as far as retreats go in NZ. A journalist dubbed it one of NZ’s most affordable and top micro retreats in NZ. I co-host this retreat and love connecting with the incredible men and women who attend. This sells out fast as only 14 guests are taken at a time per retreat! I promise you will leave this retreat feeling more calm, happy and rejuvenated.

Polynesian Spa Mindful Moments Event Image

Sponsored blog by Fitbit NZ

Declaration: Rachel proudly works with Fitbit, the Rotorua Marathon, Linden Leaves, the Polynesian Spa, and is the author of the book Balance which she promotes in this article too. She genuinely backs these as incredible Xmas gift ideas that have helped to transform her health and vitality.

Rachel Grunwell is a wellness coach, speaker, and her mission is to inspire Kiwis to live healthier and happier by aligning with partners that care about promoting good health.

Follow her on instagram for daily posts and more wellness Inso. Click HERE

5 Tips to Avoid a Hangover

AD This blog was created for those training for the Rotorua Marathon event on May 8, 2021

By Rachel Grunwell 

It’s the festive season and I too love to savour some wine and soak up social gatherings and the fun. 

I thought I’d share some tips and advice  around alcohol for those of you who love “the sweat life” too. Alcohol can impact on your performance if not drunk in moderation. So it might be helpful to know some of this stuff for when you are next contemplating how much to drink at a party or social gathering.

Firstly, a standard drink is 100ml wine (12% alcohol – and not that much liquid in a glass!) or a 330ml beer (5% alcohol).

According to the National guidelines, the consumption of any more than two standard drinks for women and four for men in one sitting is associated with increased risk of health problems (obviously if this is sustained over a period of time).

According to the Nutrition for Life book by Catherine Saxelby, hangovers are caused by dehydration and things like the substances in alcohol like congeners, such as tannins, volatile acids, methanol and histamines.

Dark-coloured drinks like red wine, brandy, and sherry can cause the worst hangovers – especially the cheaper brands, she says. Mixing drinks can also spell bad news for a sore head (and leave you witch-like the next day – likely! Or is that just me? ha ha ha ha ha).

Here are 5 tips to help avoid a hangover:

  1. Stop at one drink. That’s smart! Or have none, if you have a very long run planned the next day. I totally recommend this. I’ve drunk ONCE the night before a long run and I will never do this again. I felt nauseous!! However, some people can get away with this WAY better than me.
  2. Don’t mix a whole lot of different drinks. This is REALLY bad news for a hangover.
  3. Drink non-alcoholic drinks in-between an alcoholic one to slow down how much you drink ie water, fruit juice etc

2.   Have lots of water to combat the dehydration.

3.   Have something like milk, or cheese, before you drink – as this lines your stomach. So our mothers telling us to “line the stomach with food” wasn’t just them being bossy.

4.   Foods like toast, fruit, flat lemonade, weak black tea with sugar, boiled rice, and eggs, can be kinder on the stomach when you have drunk a lot.

5.   Sleep it off. You should feel better after 24 hours.

ps an extra tip from Catherine Saxelby is not to bother with those effervescent tablets. She reckons they are just expensive urine!

Meanwhile, when I coach clients on how to move, eat and live healthier and happier, I advise clients too that alcohol has a lot of calories (7 calories per gram). A lot of my clients are chasing weight-loss goals. So there’s that to consider too.

ps remember all things in life in “balance” can be okay. Just make informed choices about how you fuel your body and have moderation in mind.

Set your next run goal by entering the Rotorua Marathon event held on May 8, 2012. There’s a fun run, 10km, half marathon and marathon distance to contemplate. Enter HERE

Rachel is a wellness coach, keen runner (25 marathons at the last count) and Rotorua Marathon ambassador.

Rachel is also the author of the book Balance: Food, Health + Happiness.

Follow her via  Instagram @RachelGrunwell or click here for her business Facebook

5 Top Tips to Run Well on Rotorua Marathon Race Day

(AD) By Rachel Grunwell (run coach, 25x marathoner, author + proud Rotorua Marathon ambassador)

If you are running or walking the Rotorua Marathon event in 2020 then savour this moment. Covid didn’t win and the Rotorua Marathon team is so ecstatic that this event is going ahead and so many Kiwis will get to enjoy it. Nothing beats this race – the most iconic marathon event in NZ and one of the longest running run events in this country. There’s so much community connection at this race, and the Maori haka at the start is always spine-chilling.

I’ve put together 5 Top Run tips to help runners for race day. I hope one of these tips helps and inspires you to run well

5 Top Run Tips

  1. Organise everything you need for race day at least a day earlier ie what you will wear, eat and have a plan about how you will get to the start line. I always lay out my gear the night before, pin my bib, and even have all my breakfast stuff out and ready (except things like milk, of course that need to stay in the fridge). There’s nothing worse than scratching around in the cupboard trying to find a fave butter and feeling gutted if you have run out and subsequently can’t eat this as part of your pre-run race fuel! Be organised – that way you will feel relaxed heading to the start line.
  2. Don’t run too fast too early into the race – otherwise you WILL come unstuck. I share this advice because I have done it: Only ONCE. I learnt my lesson and man it sucked. There’s nothing worse than hitting the wall if you run too fast to early on. It huuuuuuuurts! Have a plan for pacing and stick to it. However, if in the final miles you have lots of energy in the tank… then you can go as fast as you want. This is the smart way to race. Whatever you do, don’t make the mistake I made…..
  3. Run your own race and don’t get swept up with the pace of other runners who are beside you when the start gun goes. It’s easy to run like a lunatic in those beginning miles because of all the excitement and crowds cheering. Just don’t be crazy and try to keep up with the person next to you. Run your own race and pace that suits you…
  4. Don’t try anything new on race day ie eat the breakfast you trust and know fuels you well, run the pace you know works for you, and whatever you do don’t try any new race fuel that you haven’t tested before. You don’t want to get the s**** or get a funny tummy.
  5. “Comparison is the thief of joy” – Theodore Roosevelt. I love this quote. Remember this quote when you get to the end of the race. Compare your run time with no one. If you finished this event then you are bloody epic and should be proud. Only a few runners are out to win this event. The rest of the field are out there for personal bests and to savour that finish-line moment. Don’t lose sight of the fact that you finished an epic, hairy-scary challenge. So many people wish they could tick off this bucket list event. If you get to do it then gloat about it as much as you like. Because. You. Are. Epic! ps Make sure you tag the Rotorua Marathon on race day because the team loves seeing your pix! Tag me too – ’cause there ain’t anything cooler than a Rotorua Marathon race day pic!

Blog penned by Rachel Grunwell. Connect with her via instagram or the InspiredHealthNZ Facebook page

Taupo runner loses 7kg

When Taupo runner Vinnie Klein signed up for wellness coaching her aim was to lose weight and reclaim back her awesome run fitness.

Over recent years she felt like her running was getting harder and slower and last year she had the toughest half-marathon she has done – despite being a seasoned runner with a lot of experience in events including marathons. The 46-year-old mum had put on some weight and couldn’t shake the extra kilos. Other health issues including headaches were also affecting her health and happiness too.

“I want to be able to run again without feeling like a sack of potatoes,” she quipped when she first chatted with me.

Vinnie had a good knowledge of nutrition, consumed little sugar and was into fitness before she came to me for wellness coaching. But I could see clearly where I could uplift her health, nutrition and fitness after our first consultation. She committed to12-weeks of wellness coaching where she checked in with me every week (via phone chats) and took on fresh ideas, and mindfully tweaked her fitness, health and lifestyle in a way that worked well for her as an individual and her lifestyle. She is a construction business co-owner and works in the office and so planned fitness around her commitments with this.

Every week, Vinnie tweaked things she was doing. I guided her in a way that was manageable and relatable – and never too overwhelming. I shared wellness tools I sensed she would be interested in. Ultimately, having a smart plan is the key to a successful wellness journey and checking in with me regularly with questions meant Vinnie could follow her plan with confidence.

Vinnie is one of my star clients. She lost 7kg over the 12-weeks, improved her running, resistance training and overall wellbeing. She did it too while still enjoying wine every week with her husband Andrew and often being away with friends socially too. Her headaches have eased considerably.

After 12-weeks away, Vinnie knows how to confidently carry on with her wellbeing journey in a sustainable way. My aim always is to empower my clients over 12-weeks so this is all they need to be with me on this plan.

Vinnie shares some things that helped her journey:

Vinnie with her dogs, Jude (left) and Maggie (right)

What was the hardest part?

“Starting!” The hardest part is getting your mind into the mindset that this is the time to take action and get going,” she says, then adds “another hard part was the strength training.”

What helped you on your journey?

“Rachel did!”

“You definitely kept me accountable. Without the help I would never have been able to improve my health journey from so many angles”.

What do you love about your wellness journey?

“I feel like I’m in control of where I am in life. I love being 7kg lighter. I’ve gone from a size 12 (it was tight) to a size 10. This helps me feel a lot more comfortable with running. My running is heaps easier!”

What is your advice to others wishing to be fitter or healthier?

“Do this when the time is right for you. Once you make that choice you will never regret it. It’s also important to have a goal and something on the calendar to aim for too for motivation.”

Vinnie’s next run goal is 10km at the Rotorua Marathon event and she’s looking forward to running strong and enjoying it! She will be running with a guide runner as her sight is impaired. She’s a proud member of the Achilles charity, which helps Kiwis with disabilities to participate in mainstream events.

ps I’m so proud of Vinnie’s success. She made it happen. In my books, she is the definition of inspiring! Don’t you agree?

Rachel is a wellness coach, passionate multi-marathoner, yogi and author of the book Balance: Food, health + Happiness, which boasts 30 global experts on how to live healthier and happier + 30 nourishing recipes. Contact Rachel via [email protected]

The book Balance is available for order via this website. Click HERE

Follow Rachel on Instagram or the InspiredHealthNZ Facebook page.

  • Declaration: Rachel works with the Rotorua Marathon crew as an ambassador and coach. This is proudly sponsored content.
  • To find out more about the Rotorua Marathon event click HERE

Inspiring Mum kick-starts her fitness journey for the the Rotorua Marathon event’s 10km run

Four hundred Kiwis entered the competition (with Destination Rotorua and The Hits radio station) to try and win the ultimate weekend getaway in Rotorua which included the help to kick-start their fitness journey so they can participate in the Rotorua Marathon event.

Auckland mum Rebecca Bowman won the comp – and she has signed up to participate in the 10km event on September 26.

She won these prizes in the competition:
2 entries at any distance to the Rotorua Marathon

Coaching from yours truly, and a copy of my book – Balance: Food, health & happiness. 

2 nights accommodation for two people

Polynesian Spa  - 2 x Deluxe Lake Spa passes

  Skyline Rotorua Gondola, Luge & Dinner at #stratosphererestaurant  for 2 people 

 Rrotorua Canopy Tours – Original Tour for 2 people 

Rebecca is starting her run journey from scratch and has less than two months to prepare. Mum to 4-month-old Grace, Rebecca aims to complete the 10km event.

“My goal is to be able to jog the whole way,” she says.

Rebecca is looking to reclaim her fitness – post having her baby Grace four months ago. She is aiming to get outdoors with Grace in the pram to get fit throughout the week (rain or shine).

“If I’m training with a pram… then I’m hoping it will be easy on race day if I don’t have to push a pram!” she quips.

I’ll be meeting with Rebecca weekly and giving her a coaching plan to progress her towards this goal with a safe, smart and manageable approach.

I’ve advised Rebecca to start with a walk/jog routine to get her muscles, ligaments stronger and her body used to being in motion.

A slow, easy pace with more walking than running is the smartest way to start a run journey. It’s also way more fun to do it this way – which is so important! And starting sensibly is a key to avoiding feeling fatigued and exhausted and avoiding injuries too. I’ve advised her to embrace re rest days also to give her body time to adapt, strengthen and recover well.

Rebecca has a great fitness background pre having her gorgeous baby Grace, and so also has the right mindset, enthusiasm and can-do attitude too that will take her far. I can’t wait to see her progression!

  • This blog is sponsored by the Rotorua Marathon event. Rachel is the Rotorua Marathon event run ambassador, a qualified coach and a keen marathoner. She has conquered 25 marathons. She loves inspiring Kiwis to kick-start a health and fitness journey so they can feel healthier and happier.

3 Inspiring Women Fundraising for the Rotorua Marathon event

By Rachel Grunwell

Tell me what breaks your heart and I’ll point you toward your purpose.

So writes activist and author Glennon Doyle in her book, Untamed.

When I read this line in Doyle’s book, it put into words the deep pain that has powered me into helping several charities over the years. Some things just break your heart and stir action. And you never regret action; You only regret inaction.

Whenever I talk to people fundraising for the Rotorua Marathon event (on Sept 26), I feel their passion. I also sense the pain that has caused their deep heart-connection to act.

These are just three inspiring (super) women fundraising for different charities via this iconic Bay of Plenty event. They are making their miles count. Please support them with a donation. Because small actions can snowball and help to heal this world…

Melanie Steen is fundraising for the Cambodian Charitable Trust, set up by Tauranga mum and lawyer Denise Arnold. This trust helps kids access education in Cambodia.

Kids at Ang Chhum Primary. This is one of the 23 schools supported by The Cambodia Charitable Trust.

Melanie says it is an honour to run this event and fundraise for this charity. She discovered the trust’s amazing work when reading about motivational people in my book, Balance (yes, I got pretty emotional over this!)

This is her “why”:

“The Trust was set up by a mother who wanted to make a difference, she saw a need to help these children have what we take for granted as a normal life something most of us give our children without really considering it a luxury”.

Denise says funds raised by Melanie will support the school communities at a time when there is no work and many are going hungry. 

“All funds will go to provide 50kg bags of rice to families struggling to feed themselves. There is no welfare system in Cambodia and with garment factories and construction sites closing and no tourism, there are many families facing a total loss of income. It is a huge problem, and so far the trust has provided 767 bags of rice. Each bag of rice costs about $60NZ and lasts the average family about a month”.

Steen has so far raised $329. To support this amazing cause click here:

https://givealittle.co.nz/fundraiser/help-me-to-help-others-2

Melanie
Steen

Kylie Allpress is among a team fundraising for the Rotorua Hospice. She is running in memory of her dad who died of leukaemia. She backs the hospice for giving “unconditional love and support to all our families in Rotorua”.

She says on her fundraising page that her dad longed to one day run this event but he never did. She is a marathoner already and aiming for a PB of 3hr45mins.

On her givealittle page she says: “All I ask is please donate the price of a latte $5 for Rotorua Hospice, my chosen charity which gives unconditional love and support to all our families in the Rotorua community. I am forever grateful! This runs for you dad X”.

Kylie has so far fundraised $488. Please help her with a donation here:

https://rotoruamarathon2020.everydayhero.com/nz/kylie-2

Rotorua-based baker Tracey Dender is fundraising for the No Duff Charitable Trust, which helps current and former Defence personnel (and their families). Tracey is an ex war vet. She’s running the marathon in a weighted vest!

Dender (pictured below) has fundraised $2539 so far. To donate towards this worthy cause click here:

https://givealittle.co.nz/fundraiser/marathon-for-mates-2020

Meanwhile, read Dender’s full story on her marathon mission in another blog I wrote just on her. Click HERE

Join these amazing women and enter the Rotorua Marathon event (either the fun run, 10km, half-marathon of full-marathon distance.). Click HERE

This post is sponsored by the Rotorua Marathon #sponsored #ad