Mayumi’s Motatapu Legacy
Saturday 2 March 2024

Mayumi’s Motatapu Legacy

Mayumi and Nero Saunders

As the years at the Motatapu event have come and gone, a family tradition has quietly unfolded, marked by camaraderie and an unwavering commitment to community service. As Queenstown local Mayumi Saunders gears up for her fourth consecutive year as a Motatapu volunteer, she shares her journey through the years and discovers the tales of resilience, unexpected turns, and the joy of giving back.

The Motatapu journey wasn’t a planned one for Mayumi. In 2018, a friend invited her to join the Queenstown Marathon as a volunteer. Little did she know that this seemingly unrelated event would be the gateway to her cherished Motatapu experiences. The joy of meeting people and contributing to the community has turned volunteering into an annual highlight for Mayumi and her sons.

In 2019, Mayumi was stationed at the finish line in Arrowtown’s Wilcox Green, where she assisted with registrations and celebrated with the finishers alongside her son, Hyugo. Little did they know that this would be the beginning of an annual family affair.

Loving her first year as a volunteer, Mayumi returned for 2020, this time with her younger son, Nero. Hyugo was signed up to compete in the Sawpit Trail Run but found himself overseas, so Mayumi not only cheered on the finishers but also ran the next day (Motatapu was held over two days in 2020). Meanwhile, Nero embraced his own adventure, competing in his first Jennian Homes Junior Trail Run.

The pandemic cast a shadow over Motatapu in 2021 and 2022, leading to the event’s cancellation. Despite the hiatus, Mayumi eagerly anticipated the return of the event.

In 2023, the Motatapu Valley came alive again, as did Mayumi and their family. A familiar scene unfolded at Wilcox Green, with Nero again conquering the Jennian Homes Junior Trail Run.

And with Motatapu 2024 just around the corner, Mayumi is gearing up for another event as a volunteer with Nero back on the start line to compete in the Jennian Homes Junior Trail Run.

Mayumi is a testament to the enduring spirit of community, family, and the gratification of giving back. The Motatapu team is grateful for Mayumi’s commitment and many others who put up their hand to ensure the event’s success.

May the legacy of Mayumi’s Motatapu journey continue for years to come.


Keen to join Mayumi and volunteer at Motatapu 2024?

Registrations for our volunteer positions are now open. This is your chance to be part of the iconic event spanning beautiful locations like Wānaka, Motatapu Valley, Coronet Loop, and Arrowtown — whether with friends or family or if you’re a past (or future) athlete!

Roles kick off on Wed, 28th Feb through to race day on Sat, March 2, 2024.

Ready to be part of the Motatapu magic? Register online now at https://motatapu.volunteerlocal.com/volunteer/. For any queries, reach out to Jo Guest at [email protected].

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