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Runs in the family

For mum SARAH LEE, nothing beats heading out for a run to clear the mind and recharge the batteries. Now her three kids are wanting in on the action.

Since moving to New Zealand, I have always loved exploring the wilderness areas. When I had my first child, I would strap my babe to my side, in various carriers, and tramp the hills of Wellington. These walks, in the fresh air, on nature trails and by the sea, all helped my mental health – which was very fragile on account of severe sleep deprivation and the fuzzy-headed feeling I got from breastfeeding.

Fast-forward several years and I find myself with three beautiful children – aged 8, 12 and 14. I love being active in the outdoors with my children; but, as I home educate two of my three daughters, I also need to make space for my own mental health.

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My journey into running started in 2014, at the age of 39, with my 40th birthday fast approaching. With my ‘breeding and breastfeeding years’ behind me, now was the time to focus on my physical and mental well-being – so that I could keep up with growing children for many more years! So, I signed up for a half marathon and loaded up an app on my phone with a 16-week training plan.

I was really proud to finish my first half marathon in under two hours, and since then I’ve gone on to run a total of eight half marathons and one full marathon.

Over the past four years, running has become an important part of my life. I love the simplicity and flexibility of being able to lace up my shoes and head out the door at a moment’s notice, and I feel balanced and capable to tackle most things when I run regularly.

I’ve found online running communities to be a great way to keep me motivated, particularly in the winter months when the lack of daylight hours and less welcoming weather makes it harder for me to talk myself into heading out. Signing up for events months in advance also helps to keep me focused.

A little into my running journey my children started to join me. They saw the positive impact running was having on their Mum and asked to sign up for runs too. They particularly like the runs that award a finisher’s medal – bling for their bedroom walls!


There are many family-friendly events around the country, and options to walk as well as run.

Search for events of varying lengths, over different terrains, and in locations all across New Zealand.

Jennian Homes Mother’s Day Fun Runs/Walks are held in various locations to raise money for the Heart Foundation.

From, April 3-16 2018, run anywhere in the world to help raise funds for Autism Charity ‘Running on the Spectrum’, and receive a finisher’s medal.

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