I started ultra running in 2017 after watching a few friends and family run these crazy long runs. For a reason that is difficult to explain unless you've been there, I found it incredibly motivating.
I started with a 50km and progressed to 100km in 2018. In October this year I hit the 100km again, as a training run for the 100 mile (160km) at Tarawera this February.
Running has always been a group effort - they say it takes a village to raise a child, it also takes a village to be an ultra runner. From my neighbours who consistently babysit, to my husband who endures a few long runs with me, who has to become a constant source of encouragement, to my kids cheering on the sidelines with their posters, our parents, family and friends who consistently send me messages of belief in me - the 100 mile isn't just the one day event, but the hours and hours of training and sacrifice that all these people make to ensure I cross the finish line.
I never wanted running this far to be just about me, it has always been about being given the opportunity to inspire others and encourage people to know they can push through barriers if they set their focus right. Being a counsellor and strength coach, this is the number one thing I love about working with people - seeing them grow and defy their own expectations, giving people the chance to dream big. In January this year I started thinking about who I could help or how I could raise money for an organisation that would be making a difference in Aotearoa.
Running for Lifeskills was a no brainier for me - knowing that our community has an option to provide children with counsellors who can walk with them through their various journeys, empowering our Tamariki to grow and flourish in their environment. Recently this year, I was saddened to hear of Two suicides in my community - it shows me we still have a long way to go in teaching others that it's okay to ask for help when they most need it.
I started running because I had the health to do it. But it became my own outlet for my mental wellness, part of my self care. While others find it exhausting, I see it is opportunity. Raising money for a good cause that's close to my heart, while running 160km, is extra motivation to cross the finish line.
Tarawera Ultramarathon is part of the Ultra Trail World Tour. Distances range from 21km - 100 miles. Based in Rotorua, over 3000 participants will run around lakes, through forests and past waterfalls. The 100mile event will take place on February 13 and 14, giving me a 36 hour time limit to complete the event, with various cut offs along the way.
Manuka Performance is stoked to be supporting Allysia in this great initiative - Allysia uses our energy products alongside many other ultra runners and athletes.
You can donate to Allysia's great cause here.