Tell me what breaks your heart and I'll point you towards your purpose.

So writes activist and author Glennon Doyle in her book, Untamed.

When I read this, I cried. It put into words the deep pain that has powered me into helping several charities over the years.

Some things just break your heart and stir action. And you never regret action; you only regret inaction.


Whenever I talk to people fundraising for the Rotorua Marathon event (on September 26), I feel their passion. I also sense the pain that has caused their deep heart-connection to act.

These are just three inspiring (super) women fundraising for different charities via this iconic Bay of Plenty event. They are making their miles count. Please support them with a donation. Because small actions can snowball and help to heal this world....

Melanie Steen is fundraising for the Cambodian Charitable Trust, set up by Tauranga mum and lawyer Denise Arnold. This trust helps kids access education in Cambodia.

Melanie says it is an honour to run this event and fundraise for this charity.

She discovered the trust's amazing work when reading about motivational people in my book, Balance (yes, I cried over this too!)

This is her "why": "The Trust was set up by a mother who wanted to make a difference, she saw a need to help these children have what we take for granted as a normal life something most of us give our children without really considering it a luxury."

Denise says funds raised by Melanie will support the school communities at a time when there is no work and many are going hungry.

"All funds will go to provide 50kg bags of rice to families struggling to feed themselves. There is no welfare system in Cambodia and with garment factories and construction sites closing and no tourism, there are many families facing a total loss of income. It is a huge problem, and so far the trust has provided 767 bags of rice. Each bag of rice costs about $60NZ and lasts the average family about a month".

Kylie Allpress
Kylie Allpress

Kylie Allpress is among a team fundraising for the Rotorua Hospice. She is running in memory of her dad who died of leukaemia.

She backs the hospice for giving "unconditional love and support to all our families in Rotorua".

She says on her fundraising page that her dad longed to one day run this event but he never did.

She is a marathoner already and aiming for a Personal Best of 3 hours 45 minutes.

Rotorua-based baker Tracey Dender is fundraising for the No Duff Charitable Trust, which helps current and former Defence personnel (and their families). Tracey is an ex war vet. She's running the marathon in a weighted vest!

Read Rachel's 20 beginner running tips on and enter the Rotorua Marathon too! Follow Rachel on Instagram @rachelgrunwell