May Newsletter

To all our members, sponsors, partners, ambassadors, guides and volunteers. Welcome to the May edition of the Achilles NZ newsletter.

Achilles Awards Dinner

From Left to Right - Rachel Grunwell, Alan Smith, Jaxon Wooley, Vince Warnock and Faustinah Ndlovu

From Left to Right - Rachel Grunwell, Alan Smith, Jaxon Wooley, Vince Warnock and Faustinah Ndlovu

Thank you to everyone who Attended Achilles New Zealand’s Annual Awards Dinner. It was a great Evening with Achilles Ambassador, Mike McRoberts, being the Guest Speaker for the Night. See Below for Prize Categories and 2019 Winners.

Rachel Grunwell

Rachel Grunwell

Ambassador of the Year - Rachel Grunwell

•Avid Supporter and promoter of Achilles across Social media and at events.

•Attended the launch of both Whangarei and Dunedin.

•This Years Ambassador for Rotorua Marathon

•Recently Written a book on Health and wellness – Balance – Food, Health and Happiness.

Thomas on the BBQ at Rotorua Marathon

Thomas on the BBQ at Rotorua Marathon

Volunteer of the Year - Thomas Tuki

•Tom always put his hand up when we need volunteers during events.

•Tom takes new male Athletes under his arms encouraging them and leading by example.

•Thomas is heavily involved with the Rotorua Blind sports were he plays cricket, goal ball blind, blind rugby soccer, tennis and indoor balls.

Shaz Dagg Smiling after completing a Triathlon.

Shaz Dagg Smiling after completing a Triathlon.

Female Athlete of the Year - Shaz Dagg

•6th ITU Para- Elite World Championships PTS4

•1st NZ Para Overall and PTS4 Champion.

•2nd Oceania PTS4 Championships

•2nd ITU World Cup -Elite Para PTS4

•Competes in local able-bodied events and consistency achieves top 3 in her age-group.

•Volunteers as guest speaker to many clubs, rotary's, churches and schools.

•Volunteers to support local events including Sport Manawatu Whanau Triathlon, and Weetbix Try-athlon.

Jaxon Running at Park Run

Jaxon Running at Park Run

Male Athlete of the Year - Jaxon Wooley

•Halberg disability games 2018:

     - M12 400m – 2nd place (unclassified)

     - M12 100m – 3rd place

     - M12 200m – 2nd place

     - M12-13 50m – 1st place

     - Long jump – 4th place

•Taken part in 35 parkruns since April 2018. PB: 28.01 5km

•Special Olympics schools cross country -1st place

Achilles NZ AGM - From the Board


On May 25th 2019 the Annual AGM was Held at the In Auckland. Click on the Link Below to read the Board report from the AGM.

2019 Rotorua Marathon

Jenni Barr, Kirsten Matthews and Peter Loft together at the finish line of the Rotorua Marathon

Jenni Barr, Kirsten Matthews and Peter Loft together at the finish line of the Rotorua Marathon

There is nothing more special than seeing someone achieve their goals. Sometimes it takes very little to make a big difference a big in the life of others we just need to identify those little opportunities.

Congratulations to all our Achilles members who participated in the events of the Rotorua Marathon on Saturday May 4. Just to mention a few, a big congratulations to Jenni Barr who completed her first marathon together with walking buddies Peter Loft and Kirsten Mathews, congratulations to Te Huia also who smashed his PB and finished his marathon in 3hrs. 40min.54sec. It was great to see Ocean and Craig since baby Breeze arrived in December. Ocean came along to support Craig who completed 21km in 3hrs. 7min.58sec with the support of Syanne de Waard. Congratulations to Jayden McKinley who also completed his first 10km walk and finished well in 2.36.00 with the support of guides Jenni Shanks and Bianca Mckinley. Jayden’s next goal is to half marathon within the next year. Well done to all the participants for the Rotorua Marathon.

I was so much inspired by sisters Dianne Peterson & Karen Holland who dug their heals in and didn’t give up. Karen and Dianne were out there pounding their pavement for 11hrs. Thanks to all the Achilles members who raced from around town and walked the last legs with the two sisters and also gave Dianne and Karen a special finish welcoming. A big thank you to all our Rotorua Chapter members and volunteers for being such great hosts.

Achilles Rotorua Chapter will be holding Dick Traums “Walk Awhile In My Shoes” Fund-raising event on the 8 June 2019 Lake front Rotorua from 9am -12pm. The challenge is to walk 3.5kms blind folded with a guide. The event is to fundraise money for Achilles Rotorua Chapter members take part at the Sydney Marathon in September. Registration is by donation. Thank you all for getting behind this event. For more information please contact Faustinah on 0212143452.

“Life and love is not what we gain but we give”- source unknown.

Thanks Faustinah - Rotorua Chapter Leader

Hawkes Bay Marathon

Stephen Jenkins with two of his Guides after the Hawkes Bay Marathon

Stephen Jenkins with two of his Guides after the Hawkes Bay Marathon

A big thanks to Cigna out major partner who hosted 4 athletes and their guides on Saturday May 18 for the Hawkes Bay Marathon and Associated Events. It was a great event with all the athletes buzzing after having competed in the 10km or the Half marathon. One of the highlights for Achilles was Stephen running a personal best for the half marathon of 2 Hours and 23seconds.

Upcoming Events

Sydeny Marathon Event Flyer - Contents Below

Sydeny Marathon Event Flyer - Contents Below

Sydney Marathon - Sunday 15th September

Achilles alongside Marathon Tours has Organised a Travel Package Deal for Athletes wanting to Go to Sydney to compete in this Event.

The Deal is $1429 pp Including….

  • Return Airfares from Auckland

  • 3 Nights Twin Share Accommodation

  • Event Entry to the Sydney Running Festival

The Events Included are the Blackmores Marathon, Blackmores Half Marathon, Blackmores 10km Bridge run, Blackmores 3.5km Family Run.

If you are interested in this Deal please email
Please visit the Link below for more Information and Entry details.…/registrat…/Site/Register

Auckland Marathon - Wheelchair Event

Sunday 20th October
With the inclusion of a New Wheelchair category at this years Auckland Marathon we have paired up with Marathon Tours to sort a Accommodation offer for anyone wanting to take part in this years Event. Get in quick because rooms are Limited. Don't forget to Enter the Auckland Marathon Event by the end of June to make the most of early Bird Discounts! We hope to see Lots of Yellow T-Shirts on the Start line!

Achilles Has Paired up with Marathon Tours to offer a Package deal for Achilles Members. The Accommodation is a the M social Hotel in Aucklands CBD. There are Wheelchair Accessible King/Queen Rooms for $308 per night (breakfast included).

For more Information or to Book your rooms please email

Alana Lythe