10 February 2015
For true inspiration, you didn’t have to go much further than the finish line at this year’s Tarawera Ultramarathon on Saturday.
Sure, there were some amazing course records achieved by the top athletes who battled for the podium spots, but some of the most inspiring stuff came hours later as everyday people achieved the extraordinary.
People, who, for the past few months have lived and breathed the dream of crossing that finish line in Kawerau after running the 85km or 100km from Rotorua.
As darkness fell there were plenty of tear-jerking moments of people who had battled all the odds and made it.
From those with big, extensive support crews cheering them on to the overseas athletes who had travelled around the world to put their bodies to the test, everyone coming up that finish line got a big cheer.
And few louder that that for race founder Paul Charteris, who this year for the first time competed in the race he dreamt up.
It was after 10pm by the time he made his way to the finish line, but there were plenty who stuck around to witness the moment.
A sign along the course summed it up well – “Look what you started Paul. It’s so awesome”.
And indeed it is.
Not only does the event provide a substantial economic injection to both Rotorua and Kawerau, it sees our beautiful area broadcast around the world.
Credit must go to Tim Day, Paul and the team – especially the volunteers – that made it possible.
There were many, many people who reached legend status as they ran, walked and stumbled across the finish line on Saturday.
It was a privilege to be there cheering them on.
Source: Rotorua Daily Post