Supporters of the Tarawera Ultramarathon 2021
For the fourth year running - and since its inception in 2018 - Mountain Jade have been selected to work with IRONMAN in delivering the pounamu toki finishers medals for this years Tarawera Ultramarathon 100 MILER event.
New Zealanders have a deep and strong connection with pounamu, while the toki is a symbol of mana and strength. For this reason, it's the perfect recognition for those who manage to overcome this epic feat of endurance.
The event takes place in Rotorua on Saturday 13th February 2021 and into Sunday 14th February, with athletes required to complete the staggering 100 mile (165.2km) course, in 36 hours or less.
The race starts at 4am and as daylight breaks, traverses some of the most epic and beautiful landscape in the Rotorua region.
In one significant difference to previous years.. this year all finisher's toki will be carved from one single stone.
As athletes come together to take on this challenge, they will leave forever connected by their experience and by the precious taonga (treasure). Athletes may be spread across hours on the trail, but the challenge of taking on 100 miles, you take on together as one.
The time-consuming process of carving the pounamu toki
Carving toki by hand is a labour of love, that requires several steps. Firstly the stone is slabbed and graded using a diamond-tipped drop saw. Stone has a grain, just like wood, so reading it is an important skill in ensuring it keeps its strength and integrity.
Once slabbed, hereafter every step is done meticulously by hand; straight lines are drawn as close as possible to ensure no stone is wasted, before being cut individually with a trim saw.
Then the hard work by hand begins, sanding and shaping the stone before it's skilfully bound. The carver will treat each piece with reverence and respect, taking care that every one is finished to the highest standard, notably different and unique.
Worn as a symbol of strength, toki carries with it deep symbolism associated with mana, reverence, strength and overcoming adversary. The perfect way to honour those who complete this feat.
Binding is a skill that involves dexterity and nimbleness with the hands. The toki has been carved with 'ears' that allow the cord to sit flush and hold the piece firmly.
The pieces are ready to be boxed, and make their way to the finish line where athletes will be able to select their very own. Which stone will speak to you?
Mountain Jade at the official Race Expo
Mountain Jade will be at the official Race Expo - Lakefront Reserve Rotorua from 9am to 9pm on Friday 12th February 2021. We will have a small number of these toki available to purchase, as in the past people have wanted these for supporters and coaches, as well as a selection of other pounamu for sale. We will be offering 15% discount.
Come and see our very own Rich Barter, who will also be running the MILER!
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