INSPIRED SERIES – Go hundy, or go home! With Marama Elkington


For those who don’t know me, normally I’m just an idiot.  I joke around at practically everything, and I’m always laughing or smiling.  But when it comes to racing I take it serious.

I go into what I like to call race mode.  It starts from when I wake to after my races are finished.  Everything I do during the day has a purpose, which keeps my focus on racing and winning.


Throughout race days and the week before I hydrate as much as I can, making sure to drink at least 4 Litres per day.  I cut out takeaways, idea cream and all the bad stuff leading up to a big event.  Recently I tried a diet and frick those are hard, but it works so I endorse them I guess.

Come race week I eat depending on my races.  When I have a long wait  between races I usually eat a lot.  If my races are soon I snack on carbs or glucose.  The same goes for sleeping.  If I have the time I have a long nap.

Otherwise I’m always lying down in the shade relaxing, not expending my energy walking around or in the sun.  during the day I’m usually quiet.

I observe the weather conditions, starting flags, race calls, and other things pertaining to racing.


WINNERS Premiere women 250m Dash NZ Waka Ama Sprints Nationals 2018. From left to right: silver medal Kiwi Campbell, Gold medal Marama Elkington, Bronze medal Cory Campbell



In the loading bay I don’t like to talk because I think it takes away from my focus on my race.  I make it a point of always giving a high-five to the other competitors from my race after racing.

I thinks its good to always do this no matter where you come, just to show respect.

Post race I stretch down, and roll out my muscles with a roller or massaging ball.  Then relax, eat, and repeat for my other races.


“go hungry or go home” is my motto that I abide by.  That’s something I like to install even in my midget team that I coach.  If they much around and don’t go hard at trainings they get sent home.

Training is like studying, and racing is like final exams.  I give myself 100% each time I train, and am always pushing myself to do better.  I always aim to win and better myself when I train, so i stop only when the last person has stopped, and then I keep going.  I like to push my mind and body to their limits, because I know that doing so will make me stronger.  Like everyone says no pain no gain.


when it comes to fear and racing I don’t think I have it.  Big races like Aito, or Nationals don’t scare me, but there’s always nerves.

The same thing goes for going up against fierce competition.  I think of my competitors as a gauge that illustrates what level I am at.

I know they are going to be great, so I try to just focus on myself and the strengths I bring to racing.

I used to fear the ocean and huge surf, but the more I went out on it the more fun IO had.  Other than that rough conditions don’t scare me also, because it’s basically like that everyday here in Porirua.  I think if anything I doubt myself when I race.

An example would be thinking maybe I can’t execute my race strategy properly, and that hindering my performance.

However at the end of the day I just get over it.

Go out there and do what I came here to do.


  • Sleep well the night before
  • Eat heaps the night before
  • Don’t worry about others, focus on yourself
  • Have good support people and family
  • Train with like-minded, and same or better fitness levels as yourself
  • Be limber


It takes a lot of courage to step up and share your secrets so a big mihi to Marama for doing so.  As I have said before I really admire Marama’s worth ethic and down to earth personality and have watched her grow into a beautiful, talented wahine and role model for not only our younger paddlers but also us older ones who tend to think we know it all.  Keep doing what you are doing Marama.  You are lifting our paddling community as well as yourself.

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Kia u ki te hoe, Keep paddling,

Hiria x

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