7 May 2021

With 305 marathons under her belt, Ingrid Frost still loves being out there

7:05 am on 7 May 2021

If you've ever been looking for a physical challenge how about running a marathon, or two, or 300!

2016 Rotorua Marathon.

Rotorua Marathon Photo: PHOTOSPORT

Auckland runner Ingrid Frost will on Saturday take part in her 306th marathon, when she lines up in Rotorua.

There isn't going to be any special celebration when she finishes... she had hoped that would have happen last year, before Covid-19 hit.

The 2020 Rotorua was meant to be her 20th around the Lake and 300th in total.

Unfortunately the pandemic forced the postponement of that marathon and when it was run in September, Auckland was in a higher alert level and she was unable to attend.

"I had my heart set on Rotorua (for her 300th marathon and 20th in Rotorua) because I had all her clubmates and other people who could be there and it was going to be a nice weekend away," said Frost.

But the 54 year old, who runs for Auckland YMCA Marathon Club was philosophical about it all.

"Looking at the really big picture in life there was always going to be another marathon and that's what all the people around me reminded me that these things will happen and so I had no animosity, it is what it is."

As it turned out her 300th was the Auckland Marathon in November.

Frost first attempted the 42.2km run in 2001 and since then has averaged 15 a year.

NZ marathon runner Ingrid Frost.

Ingrid Frost Photo: Supplied

"I love the fact that you're out doing things and achieving things."

While 2020 restricted her competition, 2021 didn't start well either as she fell and broke her arm.

Frost only got clearance to start running again a month ago.

"My running isn't perfect at the moment but I'm appreciating getting out there and being able to do something."

"I'll have to take it as it comes, I've got no expectations, I'm just going to complete... I'm not going to compete, so it may be an interesting day at the office."

Included in her list of 305 marathons so far have been London and New York along with the Big Five Marathon on the savannahs of South Africa.

Frost doesn't expect to hang up her running shoes anytime soon.

"As long as one can do it, I will do it."

She's not the only one hitting milestones... Graeme Tindall of Masterton and Mel Tuineau will also be running their 300th marathons this weekend.

Rotorua is New Zealand's iconic marathon.

It was first run in 1965 and has been held every year since with the exception of 1999 when record rainfall forced a state of emergency in Rotorua.

Many of the leading names in New Zealand athletics have won there including Jack Foster, Kevin Ryan, Paul Ballinger, John Campbell, Heather Matthews, Bernie Portenski and Nyla Carroll.

Meanwhile members from more than 200 families will be running the 10k event in Rotorua as a part of a programme to bring families together.

For 10 years Project Wy from Faith City Church have been running a programme to get people to Rotorua.

The programme is run by Essendon Tuitupou and engages people from South and West Auckland to help build resilience between kids and parents in the hope of strengthening the family dynamic.

Rotorua Marathon drinks station.


"A lot of these parents have not done exercise in a long time and so 10k's is really a big challenge for them and the kids are around 10 years old so it's quite an undertaking for them also.

"What we're trying to do is actually spend time together, setting goals around achieving something that is quite challenging for them and the best thing is that when they cross the finishing line it gives them a strong memory to have."

The child and parent must run the course together.

"We've told the runners that there are no particular goals for times or anything, it's about starting and finishing together," said Tuitupou.

He says in the end it's about spending time together with both parents and kids getting some exercise.