I grew up in a big running family down in Taranaki. From since I can remember I have been dragged around the country to various different races from 5km to marathons. So its no surprise that I ended up working within a field which means I get to work with runners on a day-to-day basis. I started working as a sports massage therapist at Sports Lab back in 2014 and have grown my practice there ever since. I have had the opportunity to up-skill and learn more about human movement and biomechanics, and how this directly applies to the field of massage therapy. This is something that I have found a true passion for.

Fast forward a few years. It brings me to December 2018 where I have been given the opportunity by Athletics NZ to head over to Iten in Kenya. Iten sits at 2400m (7900ft) in the Rift Valley, and is nicknamed the Home of Champions for good reason. Many of Kenya’s World Champions and Olympic Medalists have trained here. Trained to be the best. Since the boom of Kenyan runners onto the world stage, many of the world’s elite have flocked to the region to learn and see what makes running there so special.

So what exactly will I be doing while over in Iten?

There is a group of New Zealand runners that are basing themselves in Iten to live the Kenyan lifestyle. To live and breathe running. I will be getting the chance to train and learn from some of the best. I will also be using my massage therapy skills to make sure that everyone stays in one piece, recovers well and has the ability to train at their optimal best. Massage, particularly sports massage, is used to help calm the autonomic nervous system, and to improve fascial and muscular health. With the repetitive nature of running, massage is an essential tool to help reduce the likelihood of injury and maintain optimal performance, and I get the opportunity to provide this for the runners heading to Iten.

If you want to keep updated on what I’m up to while I’m away, check out @sportslabnz and @sportslabclinical to follow all the bits and bobs of my trip.