Lisa Tamati

Ultra Marathon Runner

Who am I

Ultramarathon runner Lisa Tamati is a speaker with a powerful story and life-changing messages to share. 

Lisa is perhaps best known for being the first Kiwi woman to finish the infamous Badwater Ultramarathon which is through the hottest desert on earth, running 217km non-stop through Death Valley. Or you may have heard of Lisa when she ran the length of New Zealand (2250km) for charity.

Even before Badwater, and certainly since, Lisa’s adventures have taken her far and wide. She has canoed down the Canadian Yukon, cycle toured through over 25 countries and illegally crossed the Libyan desert. She walked 250km in 7 days, carrying her entire water and food supply on her back. Whether you want to cover topics of goal setting, overcoming adversity, perseverance, facing your fears, project management, team building, or discipline – Lisa can speak from experience!

Lisa spent a number of years cycling and tramping her way around Europe, Africa, the USA and Canada. Her passion was to explore her personal limits and what she could achieve.

After a terrible cycling accident in her early twenties, she was left with two broken vertebrae and two compressed discs, she also suffered from severe asthma and was advised that she would never be able to run. Lisa was determined to never let this make a difference in the life she chose to lead and has gone on to run the equivalent of over 2 and a half times around the circumference of the Earth.

She has competed in the most difficult and brutal races on earth including the Sahara and Death Valley in the USA – the unofficial world champs of ultra running and the hottest desert on Earth! 

Lisa is one of only seven people to have conquered the Himalayan High race which navigates over the two highest passes in the world. And it doesn't stop there – Lisa is off to Nepal and the Antarctic soon to break some more world records.

She has a radio show called Pushing the Limits - an interview series with people at the top of their many chosen fields - academics, medical professionals, researchers, sports people, business people and more. The show is about getting deep into the psyche of what makes successful people tick and finding out what we can learn from them. Lisa is also doing regular shows with Jim Mora on The Panel (Radio NZ).

In 2008 Lisa was named Maori Sportswoman of the year and was nominated for 'Next' Magazines Sports Woman of the year. Lisa is on The North Face Athletes team is proud to be sponsored by this prestigious brand of adventure clothing which personifies her attitude 'Never stop Exploring'.

Lisa has written two books 'Running Hot' and 'Running to Extremes'. In addition to this Lisa is a successful and talented businesswoman with her own jewellery line and retail stores.

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