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Coach Ray is the Head Coach & Director of Qwik Kiwi – Endurance Sports Consultant and is a prominent triathlon and marathon coach in New Zealand.

Coach Ray specialises in assisting first timers and recreational athletes to achieve their sporting goals. He can be contacted at, and 021 348 729. Make sure you sign up to his monthly informative newsletter.

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New Zealand’s Newest Marathon Course – Taupo, NZ

Listen to your Coach… Listen to your Body!

These are words that I used to pay lip service to, but eventually they rang true.  I have written previous articles about completing an Ironman or completing a Half Marathon, etc with varying results.  It wasn’t until I was completely disappointed with myself and my results from the Ironman NZ 2013 that I decided to get a Coach.  My selection was simple.  It was Ray Boardman from Qwik Kiwi, not just because I knew him as a Physical Training Instructor in the New Zealand Army, but because I saw him on the course that day supporting his clients and noted that he stayed out there to provide encouragement when I was struggling. He didn’t have to as he had clients that had finished, but he showed an installed belief to look out for those that needed help.

This brings me to my catch phrase of ‘Listen to your Coach… Listen to your Body’. Once I signed up with Ray I went about his training program with enthusiasm, but when I missed training for various reasons such as injury or work commitments I would play catch up and hammer myself, but then have to let Ray know that I had an injury which came down to not following the program correctly.  Ray’s advice is “If you miss a training session, get over it and move on”.  He is dead right, and since then I have had little to no injuries.  Being stubborn though, I’m not very good at listening to my body, and it comes down to more than just the signals the brain receives from injuries!

Taupo has a long standing Half Marathon Course.  In fact in the district they have three over the period of July, August and September which I have competed in.  But for the township they have never had a full stand-alone Marathon course until August 2015 (albeit the Ironman in Taupo has a Marathon component).  I was eager to be part of their first Marathon and negotiated my training programme with Ray.

Unfortunately I felt the flu building up in the few days leading up to the event, but I met at Huka Falls for the 0730 hours start in the cold, wearing a T-Shirt as I knew I would heat up later.

The Taupo Marathon being the newest Marathon course in New Zealand is set in a beautiful setting where we ran across the Huka Falls Bridge and alongside before heading to an off-road trail run on Mountain Bike trails for about 20 km’s, followed by hitting the roads around the lake for the remaining 22.2 km’s, which is incidentally part of the Ironman Marathon Course.  The rain held off and the scenery is spectacular, but in hindsight I should have listened to my body and not competed, the event took me almost four and a half hours where I coughed and spluttered the whole way round and made myself worse for wear which hindered my continual training.

However, if you wish to find a full Marathon course with beautiful scenery, check out Taupo, NZ in August 2016.

Remember – listen to not only your Coach, but also listen to your Body…

John Humphries