Wharf 2 Wharf committee member Ann Brown finds out more about one participant who enjoys taking part in the annual fun run and walk.
Ask runners what they most remember about the Fullers Wharf 2 Wharf 25km course and they will tell you it is the hills that go on and on and, just as you round another bend in the road, there is another one to climb.
Spectacular views across the Hauraki Gulf are an immediate reward for all that effort.
Most finishers will tell you the final reward is the huge sense of achievement in crossing the finish line at Matiatia.
Rawinia Salmon, at 45, is perhaps best known around Waiheke Island for her incredible singing performances.
But she is also a passionate runner.
She competed in her first Wharf 2 Wharf 25km race in 2013, after less than two years of running and sounds convincing when she says she "quite likes the hills now".
Rawinia remembers one occasion racing in Rotorua. Competitors had stopped to catch their breath on an incline while she continued running uphill at a steady pace.
She puts that down to training on hilly Waiheke.
In 2012, Rawinia decided to get fit and be a good role model to her two daughters Kura and Maia.
Before returning to live on Waiheke in 2004, she worked out at gyms to keep fit and healthy.
Marriage, motherhood and singing engagements meant even less free time to work out, but weight gain made Rawinia determined to do something to show her girls that being healthy was important and could be fun.
In her early training days she avoided the hills by walking and running around the sports fields at Onetangi Sports Park, pretending that she was walking Sammy, her dog.
Only when she had run 5km non-stop, did she admit to her friends that she was getting fitter and was going to enter a race - the Auckland Half Marathon in 2012.
To help her stay motivated to achieve that feat, Rawinia joined the Synergy Studio running group on its weekend training sessions and discovered she enjoyed the camaraderie of running as an added bonus to new-found fitness levels.
Illness kept her from competing in Auckland that year, but she was stoked to complete the Rotorua Half Marathon this year, and cried with happiness at her achievement of completing the Wharf 2 Wharf 25km in 2013.
Rawinia continues to run at least three times a week to sustain her fitness levels.
Future ambitions include participating in the Maori Ironman but, with daughter Kura now pressing to join mum on training runs these days, it is likely they will participate in the family friendly 7km Kennedy Point to Matiatia race this Saturday.
And, as Kura is still a tad young, it is probable that Rawinia will walk up Mako Street - the last hill on the Wharf 2 Wharf course.
Fullers Wharf 2 Wharf Fun Run & Walk is open to people of all ages and abilities, though basic fitness to cope with conditions is essential.
Visit wharf2wharf.co.nz for information on the courses.
Organisers are expecting up to 800 entries by Saturday. Online entry at Wharf 2 Wharf finishes at midnight tonight. Enter at the BNZ, Oneroa by Thursday, January 16. Enter at Matiatia wharf building, 2pm-6.30pm on Friday, January 17. Late entries will be accepted at the 7km and 12km start lines up to 30 minutes before start times. Late cash entries for the 13km and 25km races from Orapiu will only be on board the fun run ferry from Matiatia to Orapiu. It leaves Matiatia at 7.30am sharp. There is no late facility entry at Orapiu.
Late entry fee: 25km – $50. 13km – $40. 12km – $40. 7km – $35. 7km family – $85.
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