Hits radio presenter Mike Puru has been attacked by a pack of dogs and endured a nasty spider bite in a far from straightforward preparation for the 2021 Rotorua Marathon.
However, nothing will stop him from fulfilling his goal on May 8.
Puru, who will be tackling the half-marathon alongside his co-hosts Anika Moa and Stacey Morrison, entered his first half-marathon in Queenstown in 2019 and has since become a running addict.
Today a daily runner, the Auckland-based presenter says regular exercise has markedly improved his mental health and wellbeing and also led to a 6kg weight loss.
However, earlier this month he suffered a pair of unpleasant blows in preparation for his 21km test in Rotorua.
"I was up in coastal Kerikeri for Easter and as I went for a run and went up a country road out of the middle of nowhere, I was attacked by a pack of five dogs," Puru said.
"They took a few nips out of me. Thankfully, I learned from when I was a kid to stay still if a dog attacked me and luckily they backed off.
"I had to go the doctor and get a tetanus shot and I missed a couple of days running."
Just days after returning to training, Puru suffered a second blow when a whitetail spider dealt a nasty bite on his little toe.
"It was worse than the dog bite and the next day my toe was swollen.
"I was put on a course of antibiotics and I missed three days of running."
Entering the 2019 Queenstown half-marathon on a whim, the 45-year-old presenter loved the experience so much he developed an almost overnight passion for the sport.
Running a 6km to 7km route every lunchtime in central Auckland Puru said: "If I don't go for a run every day I feel a bit discombobulated, like I need to run to aid my brain.
"Mentally it has given me so much more clarity. It is amazing what you think of and can plan in your head when you are running. I now feel I can have a guilt-free wine on an evening after I've gone for a run."
Puru said co-host Moa had been "a huge inspiration", acting as the trigger for dozens of people to get off the couch and go out for a run.
"It has been incredible watching her journey.
"She's a busy mum, filming TV shows, presenter on radio and still manages to get her run in every day. She's looking very healthy and she tells me how good it is for her mentally.
"Anika has inspired so many people and when MP Kiri Allan was given her cancer diagnosis, Anika started her hashtag #lezrunforkiri to show support."
It was Morrison, however, who acted as the spur for the team to tackle the Rotorua Marathon.
She has family based in the area and Puru believed the weekend would be a blast.
"Rotorua is always such a cool place to visit, we can drive down on Friday, run the race on Saturday and have the rest of the weekend free to do what we want."