There will be anticipation and nerves in the air as people gather at the start line for the Rotorua Marathon.

For one local woman who has recovered from breast cancer, this marathon has been a goal all along.

The 54th Rotorua Marathon is on tomorrow, starting and finishing outside the Energy Events Centre.

Andrea Gallaher says it all started in February 2016 when she saw an article Rotorua's Kerris Browne had put out about her Jogging the Powerpoles group.


She says she was about 15kg heavier than she is now and decided to train for the Tarawera Trail Marathon.

Andrea ran completed the feat and then ran the Tarawera Ultramarathon in February 2017.

Ten days later Andrea was diagnosed with breast cancer.

She says last year she was watching the live feed of the Rotorua Marathon and decided she wanted to do it.

However, she needed chemotherapy and radiation before she could even think about getting to the start line.

Andrea Gallaher is looking forward to taking on the Rotorua Marathon. PHOTO/BEN FRASER
Andrea Gallaher is looking forward to taking on the Rotorua Marathon. PHOTO/BEN FRASER

"It's been the goal all along and we are three days out and I will be on the start line."

Andrea has been told she is now "on the other side" of her breast cancer.

She says training has been going well, though she has found recovery is a lot harder after the chemotherapy and radiation.

She gives credit to Kerris' training group and support.


"That's helped me get through so I can be here and run with everyone else."

Andrea says the Pinc and Steel Trust and its Pinc programme also helped a lot, both physically and mentally.

She finished her radiation in October, so started running as soon as she got clearance.

"I did a lot of walking through the radiation and chemotherapy.

"Some of the days immediately following the chemotherapy were out, but I did try to keep moving and keep motivated throughout the chemotherapy.

"I don't have expectations, I would just like to finish."

Andrea says she is looking forward to getting to the finish line and the biggest challenge will be mental.

She says in the training leading up she has done a 37km run - "so getting to the finish line will be a huge challenge and it's going to hurt".

Andrea enjoys how running keeps her fit and healthy.

She also enjoys the joy of the people running around her.

"I've made some amazing friends through Kerris' group."