New adventures!

SUPing on Tikitapu

SW Header Image - April 2016

Spirited Women – All Women’s Adventure Race

Before I tell you about how achievable this event it, I have to let you know I have this inane fear of falling into water.

I love being IN the water (as a swimmer, with a wetsuit and goggles on) but ON the water? No sirree. I keep thinking I will end up in the water but without my goggles.

So when Neil asked me to be local activator, and then asked me along to the photo shoot, I was pretty stoked until there was mention of stand up paddle boarding.

SUPing on Tikitapu
SUPing on Tikitapu

At first I was convinced that no one else would know what to do either.

Wrong – they were all pretty confident on the water.

And then I worried that I would have to be an amazing paddler. Wrong again.

Within minutes of getting to my feet (and it doesn’t have to be the jump into position you see surfers do) I was feeling pretty confident.

And even when there was a wave from a nearby jetski, I didn’t panic. These boards are stable as.

In fact, it was the SUPing that has me most pumped about this event, even though I know that the short course is probably going to feature only a small amount of SUPing in comparison to everything else.

This is an event, not a race, take that fear of being last out of your mind.

Get your girlfriends together and have some fun pushing yourself slightly out of your comfort zone and being active. You will start a story you can tell your families and friends for years to come “this one time, at spirited women…”

The second best thing about this event (after the fact it is being called an event and is for all abilities) is that it’s in my adopted hometown of Rotorua.

I’m not from New Zealand (UK-born and bred) but I chose to live here. Me and my Kiwi husband left Rotorua last year only to realise the error of our ways some weeks later. So we came back.


Rotorua is the biggest and best playground you could want to have on your doorstep and all the other people playing love to be outdoors getting in among it.

They will happily tell you which trails are running mint, if there’s a great cake on offer at Zippy’s (their chocolate cake is amazing but their apple cake is even better) and if there’s a bit of chop out at Tikitapu.

You want to mountain bike? We have the most – and best – trails in the southern hemisphere. From grade 1 to super gnarly grade 6 (best leave those ones to the experts).

The forest also has tracks designed only for foot traffic – so walkers and runners can explore to their heart’s content (and you can score some mean views of the city without having to stray too far).

Where is that checkpoint?
Where is that checkpoint?

Our lakes are pristine, take your pick for swimming, SUPing, kayaking or wake-boarding (and more).

And did I mention the hot pools yet? No? Well there are plenty, from the spa experiences through to the foot pools in the park, or the hidden gems such as Kerosene Creek.

Don’t leave it until event weekend to experience all this.

Grab your girlfriends for a road trip and get a weekend away to prep for Spirited Women.

Mix mountain biking with coffee, running or walking with hot pools, try one of our many adventure activities if you want the adrenaline rush, or simply unwind with a good book by the lake (which one? Tough choice).

You don’t have to be the fastest or fittest. I rank myself among the beginners at this kind of event, but what you do need, is a smile and a willingness to do something that excites you (even if it’s nervous excitement!).

Everyone has to start somewhere, this might be the only adventure race event you ever do – but I know that it will fuel a fire you never knew you had.

Want to get started? Check out one of the team bonding sessions I’m running – I will show you some awesome training locations (and we will run, ride, or paddle) as well as where to recover!




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