By TRACEY ROXBURGH
Queenstowner Teaukura ‘T’ Moetaua reckons if you’d told him two years ago he’d walk 10km he’d have assumed you’d been ‘‘drinking something serious’’.
Yet last Saturday he did it for his late wife, Kate, his daughters Anika, Aya and Malia but, mostly, for himself.
Moetaua’s weight peaked at 191kg before he decided to join Industrial Fitness about six months before Kate sadly died of cancer in November, 2018.
Since then he’s lost about 50kg and last Saturday’s massive effort, as part of the New Zealand Sotheby’s International Realty Queenstown Marathon, marks the first time since his teenage years he’s done ‘‘10km anything’’.
‘‘I was still in high school — it was the City to Surf in Invercargill … I think I’ve still got the certificate somewhere.’’
Moetaua was meant to do the event last year but says he wasn’t in the right frame of mind and his left knee — which is ‘‘kind of bone on bone’’ — was ‘‘pretty bad’’.
‘‘This year I was like, ‘I’m going to do it’, and the physio said, ‘it’s going to hurt, but I think you can do it’.
‘‘She had confidence in me to get it done, so I got it done.
‘‘I wanted to do it for Kate — she’s probably laughing actually, going, ‘what are you up to?’, but she would have been really proud.’’
Pain in his knee meant the longest training walk he was able to do was about 3km; instead he tried to do 10km on a stationary bike every day to keep his fitness up.
On race day he says he got to the 1km mark and asked himself, ‘what am I doing?’
‘‘And then I was thinking that at the 5km mark and, geez, when I hit that wind [at Park Street], it was quite full-on actually.’’
As he reached the top of the final hill, on Duke St, he saw his two younger daughters, Aya, 12, and Malia, 10, outside Red Rock to cheer him home.
‘‘I spotted them and said, ‘you might as well come with me’.’’
As the trio entered the final straight, MC and long-time mate Craig ‘Ferg’ Ferguson was there to greet them, delivering a man-hug to Moetaua, which he says was ‘‘quite emotional’’.
Now he’s ticked the 10km walk off the list, he’s not ruled out doing the 10km run — once he gets his knee fixed.
‘‘If you’d asked me that question after the 1km mark, I’d have said, ‘no, no thank you’.
‘‘I would have never dreamt of it [before].
‘‘To me, it’s like a different world now, when you go through all this stuff, especially the pain of losing Kate and raising the girls.
‘‘But it’s one of those things, isn’t it?
‘‘You go through all those emotions leading up to it and obviously at the end and you’re thinking, ‘maybe I would [run it]’.’’