March Newsletter

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

As you are aware one of the significant attributes to any organisation are the partners and sponsors that align and support that organisation. Achilles NZ is very fortunate to have Cigna NZ as our major partner but unfortunately and with some sadness I have to inform you that Lance Walker the CEO has officially left his role and will be starting his new role at WREDA after Easter in Wellington. Some words from Lance.


“One of the highlights of my time at Cigna has been the relationship we have had with Achilles-both at an organisational level and also personally for me with my guiding experience in New York. I have said on many occasions that the stories from each and every Achilles athlete are inspirational and show a wonderful spirit and zest for life that many of us so called “able-bodied” people could learn from. I would like to you(Allan), John, the Board and all your athletes, guides and volunteers the very best of luck for the future. I hope that Achilles continues to grow from strength to strength.”

Achilles wishes Lance and his family all the best for their future and thank him for his wonderful support over the past four years. I am sure we will see him in our Tee shirts at one of our events in the future.

The Board of Achilles would also like to inform you that there will be an opportunity to become a member of the Board for 2018. Please see the link below and encourage those that you might think would be interested in the position. It is an exciting time ahead for Achilles as we continue to grow and whoever are appointed will add value to Achilles and our membership.

Another link you might be interested is the video of our participation with the community of Wellington in the Cigna Round the Bays last month in Wellington. Our thanks to Justine and her team at Cigna for this.



We are excited about our upcoming AGM on Saturday the 26th of May and our Awards Dinner following the AGM. We hope many of you will be able to attend and celebrate the successes of the past year, to look and discuss the future as we head into the remainder of 2018. The of course to celebrate together at the Awards Night. More information will be sent out after the Easter break but mark in your diary and plan to attend!!!



Our next gold label event where the Achilles will get together on masse will be at the Rotorua Marathon May 5 so get into your training for this iconic event.

Run for Good 

Set yourself a challenge for 2018! Why not enter the iconic Rotorua Marathon on 5 May, and at the same time raise funds for Achilles who are a Rotorua Marathon Charity Partner.

Achieve your best time, aim for a new distance, or even participate for the first time – you can walk or run and there is a course for every level - Full Marathon, Half Marathon, 10km and 5km Fun Run! Enter as an individual, a family or a team, and join the wider Achilles team of runners and help fundraise to make a real difference to a great cause.

Once you’ve registered, it’s easy to set up your own or team fundraising page - visit

We’ve even got a special marathon rate with the Millennium and Copthorne Hotels (call 0800 463 3846 or Email ), so why not make a weekend of it in New Zealand’s coolest hot spot!

We also have special codes for athletes(10% discount( and guides(free) so please contact your Chapter lead or the National Manager for these.

Hope to see you there!  Rotorua Marathon Highlights Video



On Sunday 18th March a crew from the Christchurch Achilles chapter participated in the annual City to Surf, the 14km run or walk starts from the bottom of Cashmere hills and winds its way along the Heathcote river finishing up at Ferrymead. While there was a chilly wind while we gathered at the start line, the sun soon came out and counter balanced the wind. This event is always great fun and relaxed, with lots of chatter and banter along the way, athletes and guides all had good runs and walks and thanks to supporters for playing taxi van and our in-house photographer.

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The Kirikiriroa Marathon and Marathon Relay where some of the Hamilton Chapter took part

We had one individual do the whole Marathon and complete his first full Marathon in a pretty good time on a tuff course, Dawn Tuffery one of our wonderful guides ran the whole way with him. Dawn is looking pretty happy about 28kms in.

We also had a three-person relay team taking part, which was a fun day run over river paths and walkways.

Full Marathon

Te huia Apaapa who finished in 4 hours 18 minutes


Marathon Relay

Leg 1 Ocean Stephens 12.6kms in 2 hours (guides Sophie Russo and Peter Loft)



Leg 2 Steve Agnew 18.1kms 93minutes (guide Myles Flynn

Leg 3 Craig Armstrong 12.6kms 86 minutes (guide Randal Barr)


Special thanks to Randal Barr for organising the day.

Have a great Easter and eat plenty of hot cross buns and chocolate bunnies if you are allowed!! Don’t forget on Saturday night March 31 to put your clocks and all your other devices that tell time back one hour-enjoy the extra sleep in before you go out and train!!

Matt McNeil