TV 1 news presenter Greg Boyed will be participating in the Rotorua Marathon event.
He is aiming to do the quarter marathon distance and looking forward to training for the challenge to lift his fitness levels.
It will be a return to the event for the presenter who has already conquered the full marathon in this city.
“It was the best run I’ve ever done. I’ve been meaning to get back again,” says Boyed. “I’m really looking forward to being in Rotorua. It’s beautiful.”
It was in 2015, that Boyed did an “accidental marathon”. Boyed and the Rotorua Marathon run ambassador Rachel Grunwell were co-guiding blind runner Hannah Pascoe, from Invercargill, through the event. They are all members of the Achilles charity which helps disabled athletes to participate in mainstream events. Boyed and Grunwell are guides, but also ambassadors for the nationwide charity.
Pascoe is an inspirational athlete who has just been selected by Paralympics New Zealand to be part of the New Zealand Para Cycling Team to compete at the 2018 UCI Para Cycling Track World Championships in Rio de Janiero, Brazil, in March.
Boyed had put his hand up to help Grunwell with guiding Pascoe through half of the Rotorua Marathon in 2015. He had trained for the half-marathon distance and so felt he could be of the greatest help for 21km. He was originally going to do the half-marathon course, which is a separate course, but when he was approached to help Pascoe through her race he stepped up to the 21km challenge on the main marathon course. Two guides are better than one on such a long challenge – so they can take turns guiding Hannah (via a guide rope and voice cues) and both keep an eye out on the course to keep her safe.
About half way through the race, Boyed was feeling good and so felt he could continue on with the team.
The team shared fuel and encouraged each other through until the finish-line. The trio found themselves quite emotional when they were awarded their marathon medals, smiling and on a high.
Pascoe says Grunwell has helped her with two marathons including the New York Marathon. And she will never forget Boyed and his amazing help with her third marathon.
“He ended up completing the whole thing with us without planning to. I was amazed at his ability to double the distance. So there is no doubt he easily has got this next challenge. Go Greg!”
Grunwell recalls “it was a special marathon to share with the best team. We had a lot of laughs through those miles. We all helped each other too through the hard parts of the race. I was so grateful to have Greg’s help to guide Hannah. That marathon will always be special because of our top team.”
Boyed says now that he considers that marathon event his best ever run.
“I think because it was unexpected and accidental,” he quips.
Boyed, who is from the Bay of Plenty, says he is looking forward to being at the Rotorua Marathon event again.
Athletics New Zealand commercial and marketing manager, Jo Clark, says we are so excited to have Greg participating next year and taking up the challenge of returning to his running for this event.
I’m sure he will inspire others to to get on board and enter NZ’s most iconic run event”.