Paeroa man to run 21km and perform 2,100 burpees for mental health

By Mare Haimona-Riki
Paora Raharaha (left) running for charity in May last year. Source / Gumboot Friday Facebook page.

After taking a few months break from running, ultra-marathoner Paora Raharaha (Ngāti Tara Tokanui, Tāwhaki, Ngāpuhi, Ngāti Kuri ) has eyes and mindset on the Tarawera Ultra Miler event where he plans to run 21km and perform 2,100 burpees, all in the name of charity.

“The run I know is something that is really doable for me, and doing the burpees along the way will be the main challenge,” says Raharaha.

As though this challenge wasn't hard enough, he also plans to do it all in gumboots. However this is nothing new to the Paeroa based youth caregiver as he made headlines last year when he ran 200km for Mike King’s I am Hope Charity, and earlier in the year where he clocked 100 miles (160km) for Huntly running group Team Little Big Bots raising $12,270.

“That was really tough that run but it was a great experience, and the team I helped were from Huntly and they are amazing kids.

Raharaha says that his resilience and drive to perform these physical feats come from the trials of his younger days.

“If people who are in dark places come out, then they can go a long way. After going through a lot, these people are quite strong and mentally tough and capable of doing anything. My past helps me with my running.”

The Tarawera Ultra Miler event kicks off early next month in Rotorua.