One hundred kilogram weight loss journey to New York Marathon for Christchurch woman Tracy Hapi

Christchurch woman Tracy Hapi turned her life around after running the Summer Starter, having lost 100 kilograms.
FAIRFAX NZ

Christchurch woman Tracy Hapi turned her life around after running the Summer Starter, having lost 100 kilograms.

Three years ago, Tracy Hapi struggled to walk to the mailbox at her Christchurch home, no matter how encouraging her dog Poppy was.

After a 100 kilogram weight loss journey, the Linwood woman is training for the 2016 New York City Marathon, with dozens of competitive runs already logged.

"My whole life has changed, it's like I've gone from a food addiction to an exercise addiction," Hapi said, fresh from a Sunday morning PT session.

Tracy Hapi won the New York marathon prize at The Press Summer Starter in 2015, which was presented by Tradestaff's ...
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Tracy Hapi won the New York marathon prize at The Press Summer Starter in 2015, which was presented by Tradestaff's Kevin Eder, right.

In November 2015, Hapi, 44, completed The Press Summer Starter 10-kilometre fun run, the longest distance she had ever run.

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At the finish line, Hapi was rewarded by more than satisfaction, winning an all-expenses paid trip to compete in the New York City Marathon in November, thanks to Tradestaff, Marathon Tours and Achilles International New Zealand.

"I'm quite nervous, I've never done a marathon before, ever, but by the time I go I hope to be reasonably fit.

"I'm going to Kaikoura in September for a half marathon, that's my pre-training for New York."

On a flight to Auckland three years ago, flight attendants had to "fetch a fat belt" to strap her in – she weighed 186 kilograms.

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"I was with my work mates, and I was so embarrassed. So I thought, that was it, and my life changed the next day."

A life of fast food and bad habits was undone by walking every day, slowly increasing her distance as her fitness grew.

"Before I knew it, I had lost a little bit of weight", Hapi said.

A rigorous fitness regime now rules her life.

"I'm a member of City Fitness in town, I do Zumba at Heathcote Valley School, boxing at Concrete Gym, and I do PT sessions with a group called Hale Compound Conditioning."

A motorbike crash when she was 17 damaged her knee, but Hapi said "I don't let anything stop me".

"I blew my knee out, so it swells up a bit, but i just fight through it."

Registrations to this year's ASB Summer Starter are now open, kicking off from the New Brighton Pier on November 27.

Used by thousands of Cantabrians as a fitness booster, the ASB Summer Starter offers both a 4km and 10km option for walkers and runners.

"All ages, all races, all shapes and sizes come to celebrate Christchurch, as well as giving them the ability to give back to the community," Fairfax national events manager Brett McMeekin said.

St John was named as the primary charity, in a significant change to the event's fundraising model from last year.

While multiple charities were involved in 2015, having one main charity meant "a much bigger cheque that can make a lot more of a difference".

Entries are now open for the 2016 ASB Summer Starter.

 - Stuff

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