Not long ago just the thought of long distance running would be enough to make me cry. Not really that surprising considering I’ve actively hated running since primary school and haven’t ran more than 1km since cross country (some time ago I can assure you!). One year later I was overcome by an incredible feeling of achievement to be running towards Aoraki, crossing the finish line after our final challenge with my friend Marianne. Tears of joy ran down my face as we watched our team mates perform a celebratory haka in our final steps. We had survived another amazing Aoraki Bound wero.


Aoraki Bound is a 20-day experience of a lifetime. As a Māori living in Melbourne, I’d often seen the call for applicants applications in Te Pānui Rūnaka, but was hesitant to give it a go. A few excuses replayed in my mind. Don’t book because it’s too expensive. Don’t book because you’re too old. Don’t book because you don’t know enough Māori. Don’t book because not drinking or having technology for three weeks is a cruel form of self-torture. Don’t book because the fitness training might kill you!

Now, I can’t recommend Aoraki Bound enough. [Read more…]