We are a colourful bunch of athletes - all mums, and all born and raised in Germany and Norway. Each of us moved all the way from Europe to call Taupō, New Zealand home. This is where we found each other and this is where we run together.
Even though we follow different goals and training plans we complement each other with our passion for outdoors and sports: Sarah and Mari are trail running lovers by heart - always focusing on the next Ultra, while Nicky is an all-rounder in the pool, on a bike or running out on Taupō roads in training for Ironman. Liz loves cross training and is a rookie to long runs, but just smashes every speed goal on short distances. What diversity!
Our lives are busy and COVID doesn’t make it any easier. Running as a team without any time pressure (kids pick up, jobs, housework etc.) allows us well needed “me time” and a “socialising” break. It is also a nice change from running mainly solo during the week. But mostly it’s the passion for trail running that connects us. When we are out there running through native bush or climbing the next summit, our minds are simply busy coming up with more crazy ideas. Where to run next? How many kms? One day or multiple days? We just can’t get enough. Usually the next adventure is sorted even before we would’ve finished the current one.
It’s about empowering each other to be best, happiest, funniest we can be. Before every run we’re doing girly stuff like discussing outfits while putting on facial masks and doing our hair, just to push hard out on the trail the next moment. It’s also a highly recommended way to explore New Zealand's rather remote areas, as those can be challenging on your own. The feeling of finishing an extra difficult run and sharing those intense emotions is a gift. Those experiences provide us with so much strength, energy and endorphins that we feel like we can achieve anything. It's our Time To Fly!
Some of these amazing trails will definitely be marked in future with the footsteps of our HOKA ONE ONE running shoes.
- The Germans: Nicole Niehues; Sarah Bauer. The Norwegians: Elisabeth Reng; Mari Skar Manger.
We chatted to Caitlin about how they make their relationship work around their heavy training loads and transient race schedules.