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Ultra marathon runner with a powerful story


Ultra marathon runner Lisa Tamati is a speaker with a powerful story and life changing messages to share.

Lisa is perhaps best known for being the first Kiwi woman to finish the infamous Badwater Ultramarathon which is through hottest desert on earth, running 217km non-stop through Death Valley. Or you may have heard of Lisa when she ran the length of New Zealand (2250km) for charity.

Even before Badwater, and certainly since, Lisa’s adventures have taken her far and wide. She has canoed down the Canadian Yukon, cycle toured through over 25 countries and illegally crossed the Libyan desert. She walked 250km in 7 days, carrying her entire water and food supply on her back.

Whether you want to cover topics of goal setting, overcoming adversity, perseverance, facing your fears, project management, team building, or discipline - Lisa can speak from experience!

Lisa spent a number of years cycling and tramping her way around Europe, Africa, the USA and Canada. Her passion was to explore her personal limits and what she could achieve. After a terrible cycling accident in her early twenties she was left with two broken vertebrae and two compressed discs, she also suffered from severe asthma and was advised that she would never be able to run. Lisa was determined to never let this make a difference in the life she chose to lead and has gone on to run the equivalent of over 2 and a half times around the circumference of the Earth.

She has competed in the most difficult and brutal races on earth including the Sahara and Death Valley in the USA - the unofficial world champs of ultra running and the hottest desert on Earth!

Lisa is one of only seven people to have conquered the Himalayan High race which navigates over the two highest passes in the world. And it doesn't stop there - Lisa is off to Nepal and the Antarctic soon to break some more world records.

In 2008 Lisa was named Maori Sportswoman of the year and was nominated for "Next" Magazines Sports Woman of the year. Lisa is on The North Face Athletes team is proud to be sponsored by this prestigious brand of adventure clothing which personifies her attitude "Never stop Exploring".

Current work
She has a radio show called Pushing the Limits - an interview series with people at the top of their many chosen fields - academics, medical professionals, researchers, sports people, business people and more. The show is about getting deep into the psyche of what makes successful people tick and finding out what we can learn from them. Lisa is also doing regular shows with Jim Mora on The Panel (Radio NZ).

Lisa has written two books "Running Hot" and "Running to Extremes".
In addition to this Lisa is a successful and talented businesswoman with her own jewellery line and retail stores.

Lisa uses her inspirational story to prove that you can achieve anything you put your mind to!

Lisa is such an inspirational and passionate speaker. She has the ability to really connect with the audience and bring out their emotions. At several times during her presentation, people in the audience had tears in their eyes after hearing her incredible story of determination and overcoming the odds in the most challenging of circumstances. We haven’t received such fantastic feedback for any speaker before! Chartered Accountants Australia + New Zealand

Lisa has made us step up. To see her dogged determination and inner strength facing the odds and knowing no bounds has placed any thought of ever giving up far from our minds. Lisa, we thank you for your candid honesty of the trails and trials across distances than no one of us ever thought possible.

Energy Experience

I really appreciated how Lisa adapted her presentation to work with the NZDF Trentham Mental Health and Wellbeing Week focus. Lisa’s story and achievements are inspiring as well as an example of true courage and resilience. I would highly recommend Lisa for any group or organisation as her journey has something in it for everyone to learn from or be encouraged by

New Zealand Defence Force

Lisa had a fascinating story to tell of her courageous and adventurous life to date, along with sharing her very personal story of her mum’s illness and the journey she and her family have been on together with this. There wasn’t a dry eye in the room! Again, thank you so much for providing such an amazing speaker to open our conference - she was amazing!


Lisa was well prepared and arrived early test her presentation as it contained video footage. Our delegates loved Lisa's presentation and feedback has been very positive, stating that they felt inspired and for a couple of the delegates her presentation has provided the motivation to make some life changing decisions. We have used many speakers before and I would rate Lisa as one of the best that we have had.

NZ Recreation Association

Lisa was amazing, relevant, real, honest and engaging. She received a 3 min standing ovation at the end. Feedback has been exceptional. Lisa was a pleasure to deal with and stayed around to speak with individuals at the end. Lisa was one of the best conference presenters we’ve seen in years. So pleased we engaged with her!

Heritage Lifecare

Having Lisa as our opening speaker at our conference was a superb choice: inspirational, authentic and engaging, relatable. Thank you so much for sharing your knowledge, experience, and the reality that is your life - you are amazing!

Taranaki District Council

Such a powerful presentation. To get a standing ovation from our people was just outstanding. Thank you so much for your energy and telling your story with such passion

Hello World

Lisa is an amazing, engaging speaker. Her stories were very personal, and quite incredible in terms of her endurance, inner strength and relentless drive, and she relayed them powerfully and effectively. The audience were totally engaged. We knew Lisa would be great but she exceeded our expectations as a speaker.

Lexvoco Legal Operations

You were the favourite speaker of the day. Combining personal stories, humour and strong principles to deliver a powerful message. As a professional speaker myself I know when someone is good and you are very good, I would highly recommend you to any organisation looking for an inspiring speaker to take their team to a whole new level


Lisa Tamati was funny, engaging, and also profound and inspirational. Good use of videos which really helped her story come to life. She was awe inspiring. So many people came up to me and said they could have listened to her stories all night. The time flew by. Her determination, passion, enthusiasm, easy manner and sheer grit is amazing. I would recommend her without hesitation.

New Zealand Steel
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