August Newsletter

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

Athlete of the Month - Colin

Colin in his Recumbant Trike

Colin in his Recumbant Trike

What Achilles Chapter are you a part of? I am a part of the Rotorua chapter

What is your Injury/Disability?  I suffer from a severe weakness on the right hand side and aphasia.

 How long have you been injured/disabled for and how did it happen? I had a stroke 3 years ago.

What running achievement are you most proud of? I am unable to run however, through Wheels in Motion at Cambridge Avanti drome I have discovered the fun of riding a recumbant trike.

What is your Favorite Event? I completed my first half marathon on my trike at the Wellington around the bays in February this year.

What are you Hobbies/Interests? Family, sports , and of course riding my trike.

What is your Favorite food? Roast Lamb

Who is your Favorite Musician? Elton John

A book that everyone should read is…….. Sorry I don’t read books

What do you love most about running with Achilles NZ? The people that I meet and the new friendships I have made. Plus the supportive atmosphere of the guides and athletes.  Achilles has given me back the joy of participating in sports again.

If you could invite any four people to Dinner who would they be and why? (Could be celebrities, Musicians, Athletes etc..) Aaron Ure , he introduced me to trikes and Achilles NZ. Elton John it would be great to have my own personal concert. I would be happy with any 2  well known sports people as long as they play for NZ!

 Do you have a favorite Quote? What is it? No I don’t have a favorite quote

Guide of the Month - Jonathon

Jonathon Running in the Hills

Jonathon Running in the Hills

 What Achilles Chapter are you a part of? Achilles Rotorua

 What Distance do you run when you aren’t Guiding? For events I usually run marathons however I am looking to increase the number of ultra marathons. I am currently in training for an ultra in mid September 2019 that will be my longest distance race so far.

 What Event did you last Guide/Volunteer at? The last event I guided was at the Taupo half marathon with Vinnie Klein. Josie Calcott and I guided Vinnie around the course. It was my second time guiding Vinnie on the Taupo course and my fourth time guiding on the course overall. The other two times were with Tamati from Auckland.

 Why did you become a Volunteer/Guide for Achilles NZ? I became a guide after being encouraged by my friend Lars Madsen who is a guide in Auckland. Lars encouraged me to join Achilles as a way to give back to the community and to support athletes who would otherwise not be able to do events. 

 What are you Hobbies/Interests? I enjoy spending time with my family, reading, running, the outdoors and serving in the community.

 What is your Favorite food? My favorite food of all is a vegan burger. No meat just veges!

 Who is your Favorite Musician? I have so many different interests when it comes to music. Mostly I like hip hop from the 1990’s and anything with a great groove.

 Who is your Favorite Sportsperson? My favorite sports person is Phil Mickelson, golfing superstar.

 A book that everyone should read is…….. The Night Circus by Emily Morgenstern. Its one of the best books I’ve ever read.

 What do you love most about being involved with Achilles NZ? I love the community and friendships that I have formed with people I might otherwise not have known. I love the comradery, the laughs and helping others to achieve their goals.

 If you could invite any four people to Dinner who would they be and why? (Could be celebrities, Musicians, Athletes etc..)

 1.     Michelle Obama – for her intellect and amazing fashion sense.

2.     Hillary Swank – the most amazing actress in Hollywood with an incredible intellect!

3.     Witi Ihimaera – author of ‘Whale Rider’ for his brilliant creativity.

4.     Mario Lemieux – the Canadian professional ice hockey player who overcame Hodgkin's lymphoma during his playing career,

 Do you have a favorite Quote? What is it? “There’s no I in team but there is in win” – Michael Jordan. Everyone is responsible for giving their all when they are competing or working. Everyone wins together when everyone is contributing as individuals.

Chapter News

Rotorua Chapter

Nelson Mandela once said, ‘There is no passion to be found playing small - in settling for a life that is less than the one you are capable of living”.

Rotorua athletes and guides with their finishes medals at the Taupo Marathon event

Rotorua athletes and guides with their finishes medals at the Taupo Marathon event

We had the highest record number of 23 Achilles participants at this year's Taupo Marathon which was held on Saturday 3 August. 

 A big thank you to Marion Fournier Taupo, Marathon Event Organizer for providing us with a warm spot at the Theatre Foyer for before and after with our refreshments for all Achilles participants. The Theatre foyer was also well utilized by the support crew. In addition, I would like to thank Achilles National Manager John Bowden for providing the refreshments to the team and we had a variety of yummy foods and drinks to choose from.

 Besides the cold and windy weather, the achievements at Taupo Marathon was outstanding. Not only did every participant finish their event, they all finished superbly well with smiles. 

Achilles Rotorua and Taupo athletes and guides gathered before the Taupo marathon

Achilles Rotorua and Taupo athletes and guides gathered before the Taupo marathon

 Samantha Barr walked a PB in the 10km with Jean Dorrell and Randal Barr ran a PB 10km. Jayden McKinley walked 10km and beat his PB by 20mins supported by Bianca McKinley.  Marc walked his first Achilles event with Lucas Morgan. Steve Donnelly beat his PB by 20 mins in the Marathon supported by Thomas Nabbs, Miles Flynn, Sophie Russo just to mention a few. The feeling of success is a special one. And this feeling becomes magical when you achieve success against all odds in life. Congratulations and well done to all our members.  

 Achilles  Rotorua / Taupo would like to invite you to  the first  official Achilles Taupo training on the 5 October  2019. For more information contact, Faustinah Ndlovu 021214345 or Vinnie Klein on 0274662233. It's great to see Achilles International NZ growing.  

Coming together is a beginning. Keeping together is a progress. Working together is a success. See you all at the next Achilles event!!

Tauranga Chapter

(PICTURED ABOVE) Achilles Tauranga members at the Mt Maunganui Half marathon

A warm welcome to our new lovely members. Guide- Jude Maurice, Athletes -Sarah Saunders, sara Ash, and Leslie Warner.

Our midweek track group session is a great success. We have even more Athletes coming to trial a session this week. 

Thank you to Steves Marine Supplies for providing rope to make up tethers free of charge. Now I have to workout how to tape them exactly like Stevie's so the girls stop pinching his one.

 We had a lovely day on August 24th at the Mount Maunganui Half Marathon. Thank you Peter Loft for organizing some great company from Auckland and Waikato. Special mention to  Te-Huia Apaapa with his awesome result in the Half Marathon.

August was a big marketing month. Achilles got on the front page of the Bay of Plenty times. Stevie received his training  gear  provided by the Mazda Foundation grant he received.

Stevie Jensen and I were asked to write an article for next months  Outlook  publication. This is a major publication for Blind and Low vision.

Next event: Garmin Tauranga Half Marathon and associated events September 21st 

Discount code is Achilles20 For a 20% discount 

Happy Training everyone,

Nikki Wilson - Tauranga Chapter Leader 

Dunedin Chapter

Congratulations to everyone who completed the Dunedin marathon and associated events on Sunday! Thank you to our Dunedin chapter for hosting our Achilles athletes. It was a great day for it and we will have a full race report in next months newsletter.

(PICTURED BELOW) Achilles Members gathering before the race at the Dunedin Marathon and Events

Auckland Chapter

Achilles Auckland spent a Stunning morning at Auckland’s Mission Bay on Sunday. Our runners made it all the way to Achilles Point! Great turn out, and fantastic to have two new guides join us, welcome Michelle and Jacki!

(PICTURED BELOW) Achilles Auckland Athletes and Guides posing for a group photo in front of Rangitoto Island

Achilles Christchurch

"Meet one of awesome Guides Mathew Austin"


I first became aware of Achilles when I competed in my first ever running race, the Christchurch Half Marathon last year. An Achilles athlete (Paul) and his guides were running at a similar pace to me so I was able to observe them interacting with each other and other race competitors’ around them on the course. Until then I hadn’t really even considered that such groups existed locally.
A few months later I found myself at my first Achilles training session. I really did not know what to expect going into it for the first time! What I found was a bunch of amazing people that are not afraid to take on challenges despite the disadvantages they live with day to day. The vibe is always positive, and it wasn’t long before I teamed up with Blair who was also on his first day at Achilles. As I was a relative newbie to running and it was his first day, we began training together during the week too. Within a short period we were off to Wellington for Round the Bays thanks to our wonderful sponsors Cigna. It was brilliant trip and we met yet more inspirational athletes and guides from across New Zealand. Since then we have ticked off a half marathon. Next up is our first marathon, hopefully in New York 2020! With the determination of all involved in Achilles and the help of the community, I’m sure we can get there!

Upcoming Events

Hamilton Half Marathon

Hamilton Half Logo

Hamilton Half Logo

Make a commitment now to be a part of Hamilton’s running festival on Sunday 29 September. There is a distance for everyone, Direct Group Uniforms Hamilton Half Marathon Run/Walk, TDO 10km Run/Walk, Mark Keesom Ray White Online Realty Ltd 5km Fun Run/Walk and Kindercare Kids Commando Challenge.

Rotorua Ekiden Relays

Achilles Athlete, Jaden Movald dressed up at last years Ekiden event.

Achilles Athlete, Jaden Movald dressed up at last years Ekiden event.

Rotorua Ekiden welcomes people of all fitness levels and abilities to sign up for this marathon distance event. Rotorua Ekiden is broken down into six achievable legs for your team, ranging from 3.24km to 9.27km. Get your friends and workmates together and register for the 16th anniversary of Rotorua’s most fun dress-up team relay event because you’re gonna love it.

Enter Here:

Auckland Marathon

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

(PICTURED BELOW) Auckland Marathon accommodation flyer and event flyer. Contents above.

Queenstown Marathon

Queesntown Marathon Banner

Queesntown Marathon Banner

Get involved in the Queenstown Marathon thanks to Cigna NZ! Thanks to our partner Cigna NZ we have entries available to participate in the Air New Zealand Queenstown Marathon event on Saturday 16 November 2019. If you’re an athlete looking to participate in this event (we have entries available for the marathon, half marathon or the Cigna 10km), please contact your chapter leader for the registration form and Code before 9 September, 2019 so we can confirm your guide and secure your registration. Entries are selling out fast! Please note that this offer is for registrations only, you will need to organise your own flights, accommodation and meals. Please also note this is not a wheelchair accessible event.

For information on the event visit

Pure Sports Nutrition News


When it comes to nutrition, running is one of the most unforgiving forms of exercise. What looks perfect on paper doesn't always work on race day, especially if you have not practised it thoroughly in training. The good news is you can teach your body to take on nutrition to fuel your run effectively so give yourself plenty of time to trial, tweak and lock in your plan well before race day. Check out the Long run nutrition guide below…..

Alana Lythe