Inspiration comes in many forms, but often it comes from the example of others who set the bar for the rest to follow.

Such is the case with Bay man Kelvin Mahuika - a marathon runner who pounds the pavement on the streets of Rotorua most days.

He is not an elite athlete.

He doesn't set race records and is the first to admit he is not a born runner. Most people, he says, would say his pace is closer to walking than running, "so I call it jogging".


Mahuika inspires others through his one-foot-in-front-of-the-other approach to facing life's calamities. He worked in the logging industry for 30 years before he had a stroke in July 2006. He was left with no feeling or sensation on his left side as a result of the stroke. His speech and vision were impaired.

He lost his job, his marriage, and his house. The setbacks he faced may have left others in the depths of despair.

Not Mahuika.

He chose to keep moving, and in doing so, unwittingly became an inspiration to others.

People wave and cheer him on as he runs his well-worn circuit around Rotorua. He even has a list of addresses along the way where he can stop to fill his water bottle.

This support willed him on to run seven marathons in the Rotorua area since 2015, but the Rotorua Marathon in May will be his last before he moves back to his birthplace in Greymouth at the end of the year.

It's a testament to the man that he felt it essential to reassure people who might notice his absence from the streets that he hadn't given up."These people have kept me going and motivated," he told the Rotorua Daily Post. I couldn't ever give up running and staying involved out there with support like that."

No doubt the people he inspired along the way feel the same way about Mahuika.