Supporters of the Tarawera Ultramarathon 2019
Mountain Jade is proud to announce that we will once again be supporting the Tarawera Ultramarathon .
In February 2019, over 2000 participants will convene in New Zealand's Heartland of Maori culture, Rotorua, to take on the challenge of completing one of the many gruelling distances which include 50km, 102km, and the 100 Mile (160km) Endurance Run.
All competitors who complete the 100 Mile event will receive a Mountain Jade hand-carved New Zealand greenstone toki , as a finishers medal. We're delighted to announce that this year, the male and female winners will also walk away with a trophy – an impressive greenstone mere on a wooden base, carved by artist Alex Sands.
The toki is a symbol of courage and strength and for this reason, it's the perfect recognition for those who manage to overcome this epic feat of endurance. Beginning at 4am, athletes must traverse this unforgiving volcanic region, vanquishing over 5,000 metres of vertical climbing, in what for many will take well over 24-hours, seeing the sun rise twice and battling through the darkness of night.
Stunning iconic scenery including Rotorua's forests, waterfalls and many of its lakes, steaming mud pools and geysers will be the setting as the world’s best elite trail ultra-runners wind their way through some of the country's most culturally significant landscape. Before returning to the centre of Rotorua and the finish line which greets them outside the iconic bathhouse.
As a family-business from Rotorua, it's great to get behind an event born in Rotorua and which, like us, showcases something so iconically New Zealand on a global stage.
The new mere trophies feel like the perfect way to honour the winners. Used in close quarters combat, a greenstone mere was highly prized and most revered, reserved only for the chief - or to be wielded by the most-high leaders on ceremonial occasions.
The trophy will be engraved with: Whāia te iti kahurangi ki te tūohu koe me he maunga teitei. (Seek the treasure you value most dearly: if you bow your head, let it be to a lofty mountain).
This whakatauki is about aiming high or for what is truly valuable, but its real message is to be persistent and don't let obstacles stop you from reaching your goal.
Brand Manager, Rich Barter with one of the winners trophies
"Tarawera Ultramarathon wanted to deliver something extra special for this year's 'Miler' event. Excitingly, part of my role as Mountain Jade Brand Manager was to deliver the concept to them. Working with Sands Carving Studio, the end result were these stunning pounamu mere for the winners. Greenstone has been crafted by Māori in New Zealand for hundreds of years and is considered a tāonga (or treasure). Believed to be sacred. While a mere was a weapon, used in close quarters combat. A highly prized item, most revered and reserved only for the chief. What is a more fitting prize then for those miler winners? Those who have earned the right to be considered chiefly amongst their rivals, than to take this piece of New Zealand with them.
While for Mountain Jade, born in Rotorua, to support an event born here and who understand those threads so intrinsically, is something special. To recognise and honour all finishers with NZ greenstone tokis, which have a spiritual meaning associated with strength (mana) and determination is equally fitting."
Added later. Some epic photos from the event.
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