IRONMĀORI has transformed the lives of thousands of ordinary people.
The long-distance triathlon was established in 2009 with 300 participants and it now attracts 6000 competitors, making it the largest half- and quarter-triathlon in Aotearoa.
IRONMĀORI is run by married couple Wayne and Heather Skipworth. Heather says while it's a kaupapa Māori competition, its open to everyone.
"It's about whanaungatanga and manaakitanga and it's about. Like-minded people getting. together to achieve a goal that they've set for themselves. and once they've achieved it and get that sense of achievement, transferring it to their everyday lives. That's IRONMAORI!"
All their mahi was recognised in July this year when Wayne was awarded entry to the Ironman World Championship in Kona, Hawaii.
Wayne was nominated by Ironman NZ because of his contribution to the sport with IRONMĀORI and he was one of a handful of global ambassadors selected to gain entry to the toughest Ironman on the planet.
It's a lifelong dream for 56-year-old Wayne.
"Dreams do come true and it's happening now."
Wayne competed against the world's best in Hawaii, finishing the course in just under 15 hours. He says, despite competing in nine NZ Ironmans in Taupo, this was a once-in-a-lifetime experience that he'll never forget.
"They say that there's nothing like a first Ironman, but you know, being here at the pinnacle of all Ironman, being amongst the top athletes in the world, was amazing".
Watch the video for the full report from The Hui.