Event: The Mental Art of Endurance Sports

What do you do when you meet adversity in sport and in life? How do you keep moving forward?

Our four speakers have each faced challenges; grief, depression, injury, and health setbacks. The common thread that links them is their involvement with endurance sport and taking on, as Julie calls them, BHAGs (Big Hairy Audacious Goals). They’ve each developed resilience and personal growth through their experiences. They’ve all suffered set-backs and road blocks along the way. And they’ve all found a way to carry on and reach their goals.    

On the night, we’ll hear each describe their individual journey, followed by a panel discussion, led by Further Faster’s own Senka Radonic, around the theme of adversity and resilience, leaving time at the end for questions from the floor. Julie and Matt will have copies of their books available for sale on the night.

Tickets: $15 each via HumanitixAll ticket sales will be donated to local charities. Sorry, no refunds on ticket sales. https://events.humanitix.com/the-mental-art-of-endurance-sports

When: 17th August 2021, 6:15 pm for 6:30 pm start.

Where: Further Faster, 57a Buchan St, Sydenham, Christchurch.

Julie Zarifeh is a Christchurch-based consultant clinical psychologist. Julie’s life was forever changed in 2017 with the deaths of her husband, Paul, and elder son, Sam, within 16 days. Through her passion for resilience psychology and what she describes as ‘active grieving’, she responded by completing some major physical challenges including the New York marathon and the 800-kilometre Camino de Santiago trek. She featured in the poignant 2019 documentary Camino Skies, and published her first book Grief on the Run earlier this year. 

Matt Calman is a journalist, photographer and author based in Christchurch. For the last decade he has been a stay-at-home dad to two daughters. In late-April 2017 problems that had been simmering for much of his life came to a head, leading to a major depressive phase punctuated with panic attacks and thoughts of suicide. Matt chose training for the 2019 Coast to Coast Longest Day as the vehicle to rebuild himself. His account of the journey through depression, culminating in the race, is captured in his 2020 memoir The Longest Day.               

Ryan Kiesanowski is a 37-year-old Swannanoa-based vegetable grower, and veteran of 14 Coast to Coast campaigns. His last two races have been blighted by injury – his 2020 race being cut cruelly short after copping a stray branch to the head during the mountain run. Just before this year’s event Ryan fractured two toes, with immediate surgery recommended. However, he was determined to race. Despite battling excruciating pain, he finished a career-best 3rd behind winner Dougal Allan and Sam Manson – one of the most courageous performances in the race’s storied history. 

Sarah Jenkins is a 30-year-old interior designer based in Christchurch. She has completed two 2-day Coast to Coasts and stepped up to the Longest Day in 2021. In the last two years her training has been hampered by undiagnosed health issues which came to a head in the lead up to this year’s race when she was hospitalised for pneumonia. Her Longest Day dream balanced on a knife edge all the way to race day. In July, she was finally diagnosed with Lupus. Sarah is a member of Further Faster’s Spring Challenge and South Island Spirited Women teams. Her number one supporters are husband Ed and dog Frankie.

Tickets: $15 each via Humanitix.

ALL ticket sales will be donated to child cancer nz, variety.org active kids - Kia Tu programme and Outward Bound. Sorry, no refunds on ticket sales.

When: 17th August 2021, 6:15 pm for 6:30 pm start.

Where: Further Faster, 57a Buchan St, Sydenham, Christchurch.


  • Catherine Penfold

    Please add me to the waitlist. I missed this totally

  • Helen

    I’m keen to view a recording of this; would be a great way to get more fundraising dollars!

  • Anthea Williams

    Hi there
    Can you please add me to the wait list? Thankyou!!

  • Alison

    Can I be added to the wait list, please?

  • Anna Willats

    Hi, this sounds like a great evening. Can you please add myself and Vic Chapman to the waitlist.

    Cheers, Anna Willats

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