Given her childhood spent surfing, swimming and running through the wild mountain countryside in New Zealand, Lisa Tamati's profession as a full time adventurer is no suprise.
Lisa spent a number of years cycling and tramping her way around Europe, Africa, the USA and Canada, her passions concentrated on exploring personal limits and discovering new horizons both physically and emotionally.
But at the age of 21 Lisa suffered an accident while cycling through NZ, breaking two vertebrae and compressing two discs, which had doctors advising that she would never be able to run.
She had also battled severe asthma since early childhood, but was determined never to let that or her injury make a difference in the life she chose to lead.
In 1997 Lisa was invited to take part in a four-person expedition across the Libyan desert on a 250km unsupported trek that had to fly under the radar due to an unstable political and military situation. The draw of this incredibly beautiful and untouched part of the Sahara was worth the risk.
Equipped with only 2 litres of water a day (that was all they could carry), and with backpacks weighing over 35kg, they set off. It was to be a an adventure that would change her life.
Physically pushing her body beyond the limits, it would take her nearly two years to fully recover, but it sparked a love for the desert that drew her back to the sand many times after.
After reading about the famous Marathon des Sables ultra race, Lisa compared distances, backpack weights, water supply and medical controls and decided she could give this a go. Her first ultra marathon, a multi-day stage race across the Moroccan Sahara, was the beginning of Lisa’s ultra running career that has now spanned more than 15 years.
Running has become an important part of her life, her philosophy, her way to inspire and help others ,and her passion.
Today, however, it is not only deserts that draw her but geographies across the globe and she is one of only a few full time adventure runners on the planet. Lisa believes that there is so much more to explore, to learn; more limits to push and more people to inspire.