Lisa Tamati

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Awe-inspiring ultramarathon runner

Lisa Tamati is an ultramarathon runner, conqueror of some of the world’s toughest ultramarathons, Maori Sportswoman of the Year (2008), an author, jewellery designer and jewellery store owner.

Lisa’s story is one of true courage, sheer tenacity, self-sacrifice and grim determination.

Since becoming an ultramarathon runner in 1997, Lisa has run the equivalent of over two-and-a half times around the earth. She has overcome a broken back, asthma and panic attacks, snowstorms, sandstorms, extremely high altitudes, terrifying heat, severe dehydration, kidney damage, depression and much more to achieve incredible success.

Not only is Lisa an amazing athlete but she is also an extraordinary, entertaining and compelling speaker who inspires business, sporting, charity, media and school audiences alike to achieve their own personal dreams.

More about Lisa Tamati:

Lisa has always been very active. As a child she excelled gymnastics, athletics and netball and as a teenager she competed in surfing at a national level. She was also a Taranaki water polo representative and held Taranaki secondary school records in discus and shot put.

After studying social work, psychology then business studies, Lisa travelled overseas in 1994. Over the next several years, she went on many adventure trips biking, trekking and canoeing through more than 25 countries including Sweden, Norway, Tunisia, Morocco, Egypt, Ireland, Scotland, Austria, Switzerland, France, Italy, Alaska, Canada and the US. She also found the time to complete an apprenticeship as a goldsmith and ran her own business exporting Paua Pearls from NZ to Europe and Japan before running her own wholesale and retail manufacturing jewellery business in Austria.

Lisa has been involved in ultra distance running since 1997 when she was invited to participate in a four-person expedition across the Libyan desert, a 250 km trek across a military-barred zone and carried out without outside help. After 7 long days, they made it through what Lisa describes as the most beautiful, mysterious and untouched desert in the world. They were all severely dehydrated and suffering major injuries. Lisa took two years to recover fully and pulled through her depression by focusing on running and ultramarathon running in particular.

Since then, her incredible achievements have been many.

Her first big international race (the Marathon des Sables, 240 km through the Moroccan Sahara) sealed her love for the extreme and for deserts. She ran the Desert Cup Race in 2001 through the Jordanian desert from Wadi Rum to Petra, 168 km nonstop, placing 11th.

In May 2006 Lisa ran the Isar run in Germany, a 338 km ultramarathon along the river Isar. In November 2006 she ran the Trans 222 km in Niger, while suffering from food poisoning.

In February 2007 Lisa placed second at the 100 km nationals in Taupo, NZ, and repeated this performance at the 2008 Nationals. She was also the only woman in the 158 km race around Mt Taranaki in November 2007.

In 2008 Lisa became the first NZ woman and fastest New Zealander to conquer the infamous Badwater Ultramarathon, a 217 km non-stop marathon through the hottest desert on earth – Death Valley, USA. The race is by invitation only and pits 80 of the world’s toughest ultra athletes against each other and the elements. She finished 10th of the women and 24th overall from 82 competitors, a world-class performance. Lisa raised over $45,000 to get herself and her crew to the race.

In 2011 she returned from the Himalayas where she ran the 222 km La Ultra – ‘The High’ – the world’s highest ultramarathon. Competitors had been warned that the race was extremely dangerous because of altitude sickness. One of just six competitors invited to compete, Lisa finished 4th overall, second woman home in 53 hr 05 min. Previously only one man had completed the event.

Lisa Tamati has appeared many times in NZ and international media. Lisa’s autobiography Running Hot was published in 2009.

Lisa returned to NZ in 2007 and now runs her own designer jewellery and art shop with her mother in New Plymouth. Her shop is home to one of the largest opal collections in New Zealand.

Client testimonials

Lisa Tamati

Awe-inspiring ultramarathon runner

Quick Contact

Lisa Tamati

Awe-inspiring ultramarathon runner

Lisa Tamati is an ultramarathon runner, conqueror of some of the world’s toughest ultramarathons, Maori Sportswoman of the Year (2008), an author, jewellery designer and jewellery store owner.

Lisa’s story is one of true courage, sheer tenacity, self-sacrifice and grim determination.

Since becoming an ultramarathon runner in 1997, Lisa has run the equivalent of over two-and-a half times around the earth. She has overcome a broken back, asthma and panic attacks, snowstorms, sandstorms, extremely high altitudes, terrifying heat, severe dehydration, kidney damage, depression and much more to achieve incredible success.

Not only is Lisa an amazing athlete but she is also an extraordinary, entertaining and compelling speaker who inspires business, sporting, charity, media and school audiences alike to achieve their own personal dreams.

More about Lisa Tamati:

Lisa has always been very active. As a child she excelled gymnastics, athletics and netball and as a teenager she competed in surfing at a national level. She was also a Taranaki water polo representative and held Taranaki secondary school records in discus and shot put.

After studying social work, psychology then business studies, Lisa travelled overseas in 1994. Over the next several years, she went on many adventure trips biking, trekking and canoeing through more than 25 countries including Sweden, Norway, Tunisia, Morocco, Egypt, Ireland, Scotland, Austria, Switzerland, France, Italy, Alaska, Canada and the US. She also found the time to complete an apprenticeship as a goldsmith and ran her own business exporting Paua Pearls from NZ to Europe and Japan before running her own wholesale and retail manufacturing jewellery business in Austria.

Lisa has been involved in ultra distance running since 1997 when she was invited to participate in a four-person expedition across the Libyan desert, a 250 km trek across a military-barred zone and carried out without outside help. After 7 long days, they made it through what Lisa describes as the most beautiful, mysterious and untouched desert in the world. They were all severely dehydrated and suffering major injuries. Lisa took two years to recover fully and pulled through her depression by focusing on running and ultramarathon running in particular.

Since then, her incredible achievements have been many.

Her first big international race (the Marathon des Sables, 240 km through the Moroccan Sahara) sealed her love for the extreme and for deserts. She ran the Desert Cup Race in 2001 through the Jordanian desert from Wadi Rum to Petra, 168 km nonstop, placing 11th.

In May 2006 Lisa ran the Isar run in Germany, a 338 km ultramarathon along the river Isar. In November 2006 she ran the Trans 222 km in Niger, while suffering from food poisoning.

In February 2007 Lisa placed second at the 100 km nationals in Taupo, NZ, and repeated this performance at the 2008 Nationals. She was also the only woman in the 158 km race around Mt Taranaki in November 2007.

In 2008 Lisa became the first NZ woman and fastest New Zealander to conquer the infamous Badwater Ultramarathon, a 217 km non-stop marathon through the hottest desert on earth – Death Valley, USA. The race is by invitation only and pits 80 of the world’s toughest ultra athletes against each other and the elements. She finished 10th of the women and 24th overall from 82 competitors, a world-class performance. Lisa raised over $45,000 to get herself and her crew to the race.

In 2011 she returned from the Himalayas where she ran the 222 km La Ultra – ‘The High’ – the world’s highest ultramarathon. Competitors had been warned that the race was extremely dangerous because of altitude sickness. One of just six competitors invited to compete, Lisa finished 4th overall, second woman home in 53 hr 05 min. Previously only one man had completed the event.

Lisa Tamati has appeared many times in NZ and international media. Lisa’s autobiography Running Hot was published in 2009.

Lisa returned to NZ in 2007 and now runs her own designer jewellery and art shop with her mother in New Plymouth. Her shop is home to one of the largest opal collections in New Zealand.

Client testimonials

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