For one woman, Auckland Marathon a journey four years in the making

For one woman, Auckland Marathon a journey four years in the making

First-timer Oska Baynes took the honours in the Auckland Marathon today, but for many people just taking part is an achievement.

Newshub met one woman who just four years ago wouldn't have thought it was possible.

Everyone who crossed the finish line today has his or her own story of preparation, training and accomplishment. El-Mare Rothmann's is four years in the making.

"I was 5XL, 130kg," she says. "So yeah, this is big for me. This is my time to shine for me and show myself, you know what? You can actually do something with your life."

You only need to look at pictures of her from 2011 to see now she's literally half the woman she used to be, but happy about it.

When her family raised serious concerns about her health, Ms Rothmann realised something had to change.

"For the first year to year-and-a-half I really just walked. Every morning, 45 minutes to an hour, I just walked.

"Then I got to a stage where I thought, you know what? I'm starting to plateau. I've got to do something else."

That's when she started jogging - just 100 metres at a time - eventually adding weights to her exercise regime.

Today she achieved her biggest goal yet - completing Auckland Marathon's 12k Traverse.

But she's not resting for long. She says she'll be back at the gym again at 5:30am on Monday morning.

"Most probably [I'll do it] next year again, just a 12k. In the meantime I'm just preparing myself mentally for the half - maybe in two years' time, who knows?"

But after seeing what she's already achieved in four years, you wouldn't bet against her.