Marathon: Wiki's bucket list

By Peter Thornton

Ruben Wiki is running in the Arthur Lydiard Marathon in the Waitakere Ranges. Photo / Doug Sherring
Ruben Wiki is running in the Arthur Lydiard Marathon in the Waitakere Ranges. Photo / Doug Sherring

Ruben Wiki makes his marathon debut at The Legend today and all because he couldn't keep his big mouth shut.

The former captain of the Kiwis talked it up on the Maori Television show Code that he could run the Legend Marathon and now he finds himself having to back up his big talking at the hardest marathon in the country.

He will run the event with his wife, Santa, a veteran of triathlons, and the couple know they are in for a gruelling day on the hills.

The Legend is an event that elite marathon runners describe as "very physically demanding" and, for the Wikis, it is going to be a battle to the finish line.

Wiki, who is known as "Jake the Muss" for being a hard man during his league career, has never been one to back down from a challenge but admitted he heads into the unknown today.

"Yeah it's my first and it's probably going to be my last," said the 37-year-old Wiki.

"I am just ticking another thing off my bucket list, mate."

The Wikis will be followed by a camera crew from Maori Television documenting every agonising step of the journey.

"I did a half marathon last year and that was bloody tough as my legs turned to concrete for the last 3km but I know this is going to be a whole different thing.

"Me and my wife do things in pairs and it has been good fun training with her again."

Santa, a masseuse, also makes her marathon debut and says they are well prepared as they have been doing conditioning work since May.

"There is no doubt that Ruben could do this on his own," said the mother of two.

"I've done a few half marathons and it was time to step it up - you have to do these things while you can before you turn 40," said Santa whose 40th birthday is in a few weeks' time.

- NZ Herald

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