4 Nov 2017

Iron Māori inspires 'I can do it' attitude

12:31 pm on 4 November 2017

About 2000 people, including a mother of three with a newborn, are competing in the Iron Māori event today in Napier at Pandoro Pond.

Kiri Evans said she was just one of the many success stories of Iron Māori. She decided one year she would do a quarter marathon - and has since gone on to do five more.

Today, Ms Evans will complete the quarter-length event with a 1km swim, 45km cycle and a 10.5km run.

Kiri Evans

Kiri Evans Photo: Supplied / Kiri Evans

She said the road to Iron Māori this year was the most challenging one yet.

"One side of me was saying, 'nah you can't do it... oh it's too hard, you're tired, you've got hardly any time to train because you've got baby and other kids'.

"And then one side of me was saying 'nope, I can do it'."

She said looking back at the past year made her extremely proud.

"Getting out there and actually doing the training even when it was hard and even when I struggled to find time.

"Just showing myself that I'm not just a mum, I can do things like this to show my kids you can do anything you put your mind to."

Iron Māori spokesperson Lee Grace said it was stories like that made Iron Māori so special.

Mr Grace said the goal of the event was to lift the health and well-being of Māori across the country.

He said in Iron Māori's first year 300 people participated and it was clear early on the event had the potential to lift Māori well-being on a greater scale.

"It was a hard and difficult and long road for them but the sense of accomplishment transcended sports and motivated them in other parts of their lives.

"So that really was the seed and the impetus of the Iron Māori movement."

Iron Māori has a range of events for everyone, no matter the size or ability people can participate, Mr Grace said.

He said there was even an event for kaumātua where the oldest participant was 80 years old.

"Our kaumātua and grandparents, they often get relegated to dropping grandkids and kids off at events and watching them and doing all this stuff.

"They were really appreciative that there was an event where they participated and all their family came to support them in them having fun."

The next Iron Māori event is a half marathon and will take place on December the 2nd.

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