Runner Aiming for Guinness World record

Blair & Rubik's cubes


Blog by Rachel Grunwell: Official blogger for the ASB Christchurch Marathon. Rachel is a marathoner, yoga teacher & Good magazine’s wellness columnist + smoothie chick. Follow Inspired Health’s Facebook, Instagram & Twitter.

Puzzling Marathon Mission: Runner going for Guinness World record

Most people consider running a marathon tough enough. But Christchurch personal trainer Blair Williamson aims to try and break a Guinness World title too when he tackles the ASB Christchurch Marathon on June 4, 2017. The 26-year-old wants to solve the most Rubik’s cubes while running NZ’s fastest and flattest marathon course.

Williamson aims to solve around 200 Rubik’s cubes while running the event (in under 5-hours). He needs to beat American Shane White’s record of solving 175 of the cubes during the Rock ‘n’ Roll Savannah Marathon in America in November 2012 (in 4hrs 53mins).

Williamson, can usually run a sub 4-hour marathon. But he may slow down his stride so he can get in more puzzle-solving missions throughout the race. This event will be his fifth marathon challenge and his second crack at the Christchurch event.

He’ll have a support crew of about three mates who will help him on race day. He’s yet to fully sort the logistics ie how many Rubik’s cubes he will use, whether a mate will run beside him and mix them up in-between Williamson solving the cubes, or whether someone might need to transport 200 fresh cubes to him throughout the course.

He applied to the records office in January to try and officially break the record and hopes to hear soon on approval (it can take up to 12-weeks to lodge an attempt at a record through the “free” entry option). The Guinness World Record office will also send him guidelines around his mission ie how he will need to get the official evidence of his success on the day (ie should runners watch him every moment and verify the numbers or should they video the puzzle solving.

Williamson says the idea came about when a fellow trainer sent him a link about a runner holding a title for the mission near the end of last year. The friend knew Williamson loves running and is an expert at doing the puzzles.

The personal trainer (at Limit Zero gym in Christchurch) has since been training – on the road and on a treadmill with the cubes. During a two-hour training run he managed to solve 88 Rubik’s cubes.

He says he learnt how to master the puzzles nine years ago when friend taught him “how to look at it a different way”.

“The puzzles used to confuse me and give me a headache. But a friend showed me how to do a pattern and it’s just now like doing a puzzle. It now is just common sense to me,” he says.

He says he can do the puzzles as fast as under a minute. And this great pic shows he can also juggle the colourful cubes.

Blair juggle rubik's cubes

I asked him if he’s afraid of falling over while he’s trying to do two things at once? Williamson admits he did “semi-roll” his ankle once already. But it hasn’t put him off his goal.

“I’m looking at my hands while I’m looking down at the ground anyway. So, there’s a peripheral view. But looking down gets my neck a bit crocked too. But I’ll put up with that on race day,” he says.

Join Williamson by running at the Christchurch Marathon’s full or half marathon, 10km distance or sign your kids up for the “kids mara’fun” by clicking HERE

Blog penned by Rachel Grunwell: Marathoner. Blogger. Good magazine’s wellness columnist. Yoga teacher. Follow Rachel via Inspired Health ‘s Facebook, Instagram & Twitter pages.









Resolution Retreats blissful health retreat getaway

resolution retreats complex

By Rachel Grunwell

The way to achieve your wellness goals is through “progression, not perfectionism”.

These wise words ring in my ears as I attend a three-day retreat in the Bay of Plenty.

I’m at Resolution Retreats, high up in the quiet, peaceful and beautiful bush-clad hills of Papamoa. It’s so green here, the air is fresh and I feel blissful and chilled-out just simply being in this stunning location. It’s wonderful to have “me time” and to be in a supportive and welcoming place that nurtures good health. It’s a place just solely for women to transform.

resolution retreats poolside

Here, you can kick-start a restorative journey to improve your own personal and individual health goals.

I’m among about a dozen women, mostly aged 40s and over, who have different goals from weight loss to wanting to improve their overall health, fitness, food knowledge or happiness levels. Some mums and daughters (aged in their 20s) too are here for a special healthy holiday. Others just wish to take a breath, refocus and feel pampered.

Founder and nutritional consultant, Joelene Ranby (pictured below), says she and her team will support everyone on their individual goals. Questions are welcome at any time.

resolution retreats joelene


I love that she tells us we can go to the daily fitness workouts or health seminars, or opt out for relaxation time instead, if we wish. It’s a no-pressure environment. One option for example, is walking to the Kaiate Falls. I opted in for that and loved being in nature (I’m pictured by one of the waterfalls below – how bliss does that look)!!!

resolution retreats walk


Ranby says she aims to inspire, educate and motivate women with tools on how to de-stress, recuperate and refocus.

She promises to keep things “simple”. She doesn’t want anyone “overwhelmed” and “trying to do everything all at once”. This is a key theme: “progression, not perfectionism”.

She implores us to focus on one important health message daily and think about leaving the retreat with one change to truly focus on back at home. This is because one change at a time, and little by little, we can transform our lives and achieve our wellness goals, she promises.

The itinerary over three days includes daily gentle yoga and different fitness sessions (here’s a pic below of a pool work-out). Seminars range from healthy eating education, to de-coding food labels, and there is a cooking demonstration done by a professional chef who shares helpful and healthy tips and tricks.

resolution retreats pool class 

Everyone raves about the girly-girl pampering sessions (you can get treatments from massages and facials to pedicures on-site). I have a facial which is so good I fall asleep! And a back massage helps me to de-stress down another notch.

I like that the retreat kept things accessible, realistic, and there are lots of real-life ideas shared. Food is super healthy (like this yum meal pictured below), but filling, and I cope okay without sugar (I’m generally a chocoholic!)

resolution retreats meal

The snacks are delicious too on the retreat. Check out this blissball goodness!

resoltion retreats snack

My bedroom is a tranquil oasis and boasts an inside and outside bath. Check out how lush it looks!

resolutuon retreats accommodation


I left the retreat feeling inspired and relaxed. What an amazing place where women can focus on themselves… and truly escape briefly the never-ending to-do-list and needs of the kids, partners and work commitments. I’d recommend Resolution Retreats as a friendly place that can empower women with real-life tools to live healthier and happier.


Top tips from the retreat:

Quit the guilt.

Keep things simple and focus on one health goal at a time. Don’t overwhelm yourself. “Ladies tend to see the bar too high. We all do it!” says Joelene Ranby.

Protein can help to keep you fuller for longer.

Be organised with meals. It will help stop you reaching for unhealthy snacks.

Figure out the things that “slip you up” and plan around them ie if you love chocolate and chips perhaps don’t buy them or maybe keep them in a place you can’t see them.

Ask yourself before snacking: “Am I eating because I am stressed?”

Exercise and get your heart-rate up before breakfast – even if it’s just for a few minutes. It will help kick-start your metabolism.

This piece was published in Herald group newspapers. The piece was penned by Rachel Grunwell: wellness writer & columnist, marathoner, yoga teacher and the director of this lifestyle website InspiredHealth. Follow InspiredHealth on Facebook (click HERE) & Instagram (Click HERE). We have amazing regular health giveaways and inspiration on living “well”.

Rach 02

Resolution Retreats runs numerous retreats throughout the year, ranging from three days to three weeks.