Lisa Tamati – The queen of ultra marathons on the lessons she learned that are now helping her as a very successful businesswoman

Interview with
Lisa Tamati
Lisa Tamati – The queen of ultra marathons on the lessons she learned that are now helping her as a very successful businesswoman

If you watch the media and see the name Lisa Tamati you’ll possibly think of an extreme athlete running in unwelcoming territories – what could be fiercer than covering huge distances on foot in an unrelenting desert? Over twenty years, Lisa has completed 140 ultra-marathons in the Moroccan Sahara, Libyan, Niger, Gobi, Arabian, Himalayan and Death Valley deserts as well as the Australian outback.

Some will remember Lisa achieving the highly regarded award ‘Maori Sportsperson of the Year’ in 2008. Lisa is also author of two best-selling books, Running Hot and Running to Extremes and co-owner and creator of one of the toughest running events in New Zealand, The 100 Miler Mountain Run. Lisa Tamati’s ultimate preoccupation appears to be a focus on physical challenge.

Yet Lisa’s name is also synonymous with her original trade as a bespoke jeweller. And more recently many have also watched her dedication in aiding her mother back to good health using both familial support and physiotherapy as well as a lesser known tool, the hyperbaric oxygen chamber.

In this podcast, we hear how Lisa sees her life as a culmination of past experiences enabling her to help others change their perspective on where they are and what they can achieve. Lisa has become an influential brand in her own right and a ‘serial entrepreneur’. Her extraordinary background and an upbringing that strongly valued “rising above mediocrity” has in effect allowed Lisa to be a very down to earth and relatable person simply because of the challenges she has faced. Lisa’s vocation has now become multi-faceted as she helps, coaches and inspires others to be the best they can. How does she do it?

Her roles include motivational public speaking, producing her own podcast Pushing the Limits, developing online courses in health, fitness and mindset with her PR company Running Hot. Here, Lisa has teamed up with running partner and coach, Neil Wagstaf to create a complete online ‘emotional resilience and mental strength’ package for those seeking fitness, flexibility, nutrition, scientific advice, and a multi-layered mindset programme to help deal with depression and low self-esteem. This last is a stumbling block for people in any field and can sometimes have its origins in the difficult, early years of life, as it did with Lisa. She recommends some very simple techniques here, corroborated by Sir John Kirwin (

  • Notice your triggers then take a step back, don’t push harder
  • Focus on doing a pleasant activity, enjoy the little things, take time out with pets, exercise, meditation
  • Create daily pleasure
  • Do something for someone else to distract attention from yourself
  • Realise it’s OK to fail

Her most recent venture, the hyperbaric oxygen chamber business is a heartfelt focus still in its infancy but one which Lisa is passionate about and wants to see become more accessible as a therapeutic method for stroke rehabilitation.

She’s a true Kiwi, self-effacing and genuine. She’s easy to relate to and has an amazing story to share. Her advice to others is to question “How many people can I impact, help, give value to? What could make the world a better place – what do you want your legacy to be? What will help you rise above mediocrity?”

According to Lisa the answers to these encompass:

  • Dispelling limiting beliefs such as ‘imposter syndrome’ or not believing you are the real deal (the inner critic)
  • Developing a strong sense of identity
  • Doing the best you can to give real value
  • Being passionate, focussed, enthusiastic
  • Facing your fears and doing it anyway!
  • ‘Faking it till you make it’
  • Building on your success
  • Using success as a springboard

You deserve to achieve your goals and reach your potential - be it in personal or professional life. For more insights from this motivational speaker, blogger and coach, read Lisa’s books, have a look at her brand style at or Facebook, tune in to her YouTube Channel, follow on Twitter and Instagram or listen to her podcast Pushing the Limits


No one has commented on this page yet.

Post your comment