Lisa Tamati inspires to the extreme

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Lisa Tamati proves dedication is everything in her book Running to Extremes.


New Zealander Lisa Tamati has done it again with her second publication Running to Extremes, released on September 26.

Tamati’s background is one that could ultimately lead to a movie deal – literally. When she was 21, she was involved in a cycling accident where doctors gave her the devastating news she had broken two vertebrae and compressed two discs in her back.

So imagine being told you’d never be able to run again, that all hope was lost and to just suck it up.

Tamati’s passion and dedication to beat the odds, push her body beyond its limits and prove the medical profession wrong saw her regain the strength and stamina in her back in just two years, and it was during her recovery she discovered a passion for ultramarathons and desert running.

Running to Extremes is an inspiring look into the realities of long distance running – but we’re not talking marathon distances here. We’re talking extreme numbers like 250kms and Lisa’s experiences in participating in events like the Badwater Ultramarathon in California’s death valley (217kms) and the La Ultra in the Himalayas (222kms).

Whether you’re a runner or not, there is a connection in some form when turning the pages.

Tamati’s accounts of her experiences are of good length to keep readers intrigued; they’re not drawn out or over descriptive, and she certainly doesn’t repeat herself about how she’s feeling. Each chapter reads a different race and it’s clear that each ultramarathon is not like another.

It was amazing to read about how much Tamati appreciated her support systems – her crews and her running buddies. Although naturally competitive, she gave an insight into how friendly the elite athletes are amongst one another and to what lengths they will go to make sure everyone is safe and healthy enough to cross the finish line in extreme environmental conditions.

One of the most informative things in Running to Extremes was the advice given to runners of all levels and distances.

Following each chapter are training tips, gear lists, information on nutrition and supplements, advice on mental preparation and how to keep yourself healthy while training and racing. She even incorporated personal accounts of one of her crew members and training buddies.

Informative and simply intense, Running to Extremes is the perfect book for anyone looking to find that little bit of inspiration or motivation by a woman who has conquered her biggest beasts.

Australia needs a New Zealander like Tamati.

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

Running to Extremes high res cover

Title: Running to Extremes by Lisa Tamati

Date of publication: 26 September 2012
Published by: Allen & Unwin
RRP: $29.99

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