Freelance running writer Karien Potgieter is on a mission to run the world and hoping to clock a personal best at the upcoming ASB Christchurch Marathon.
Currently based in Auckland, Potgieter, a qualified ecologist and fulltime running writer, has run marathons in seven countries across four continents, including the US, France, the Kingdom of Lesotho, Botswana, South Africa, Namibia and New Zealand.
"I love combining running and travelling, so this was the perfect excuse to travel to and run in a part of New Zealand that I've never visited before," she said.
"I've heard so many good things about both Christchurch and the event and can't wait to experience it for myself!"
Potgieter says Christchurch's internationally renowned fast, flat track is the perfect place to carve herself a new half-marathon record.
"The ASB Christchurch Marathon Half will be my 10th half-marathon, and I wanted it to be a special one," she said.
"The fact that the event is known for its fast course definitely influenced my decision to enter the race. I'd love to celebrate my 10th half-marathon with a new PB!"
After smashing her first 5k fun run at age eight, Potgieter said she's been running ever since.
"I did my first international race, the Walt Disney World Half Marathon in the US, in 2010 and after that I aimed to complete one international race or event per year."
A 40-year-old working mother of two, Potgieter said sticking to a running routine with young kids had its challenges but encouraged other mothers to find creative ways to make their marathon goals come true.
"Because trust me, there's nothing as inventive (and determined!) as a mum who needs to run!"
After swapping a busy corporate job for a life as a freelance running writer, Potgieter, who is originally from South Africa, is now on a mission to run on every continent in the world.
"I'm lucky that my current job as a running writer forces me to stay up to date with the latest running-related research – something that I absolutely love," she said.
"Seeing scientific proof that running helps and benefits us physically, mentally and emotionally in a myriad of different ways really inspires me to get out there and keep running – it would be crazy not to!"
This year's run on June 3 is the 38th year of the Christchurch Marathon, which takes participants on a scenic route around iconic city landmarks such as Cathedral Square, Hagley Park, the Avon River and the Red Zone.
ChristchurchNZ general manager of attraction Linda Falwasser said the marathon was a great opportunity for people of all ages and fitness levels to be part of a renowned running event.
"Christchurch is the perfect backdrop as a destination for this event and it's going to be a fantastic opportunity for us to showcase our new city with the world and cheer on the runners as they pass through our streets," Falwasser said.
"We're encouraging people to either sign up for a run or a walk, or come into the city on race day and be part of the excitement of the ASB Christchurch Marathon."