Johansen Eyes The North Face

I need to do it because it carries points for the world rankings. Jo Johansen

Blue MountainsQuiz night to get Jo to the Blue Mountains

By Roger Childs

The North Face 100 is probably the toughest ultra running event in Australasia.  It starts and finishes at Katoomba on the eastern edge of the Blue Mountains and the roller–coaster course has over 3000m of climb. About a third of this is in the tiring last 14km. It costs $A360 to enter, so to help local ultra star Jo Johansen follow her dream, cityfitness personal trainer, Andrew Smith, is organising a quiz night at The Boundary Tap and Kitchen in Raumati, on Wednesday 16 April.

A star is born

Jo JKapiti Running and Tri Club athlete and Stirling Sports employee, Jo Johansen, has taken the ultra distance world by storm. Ultra running is one of the toughest of all sports because of the fitness and stamina required to complete races well in excess of the standard 42.2km marathon.

Jo has been running seriously only since early last year, however so far in 2014 she has won the women’s section of the

 ~ Hutt Valley River Trail 6okm
 ~ The Tarawera Ultra 67km
 ~ The Hillary Ultra 80km

The big breakthrough was in the Tarawera Ultra which is part of the world circuit of long distance events. She came in from under the radar and the common reaction to her 9 minute win over a world class field was Who is this Jo? Where does she come from? (See

Two weeks later in the first running of the Hillary Ultra on Auckland’s west coast she was first woman by over 72 minutes!  (See )

Now Australia beckons and the local sporting community is keen to raise funds to get Jo to the Blue Mountains.

Organiser Andrew Smith

Andrew SmithAndrew knows what ultra events are all about. He ran the Wellington Marathon in 2011, completed the Taupo Ironman in 2013 and last month ran the Hawke’s Bay Triple Peaks event.

This last event was shortened to 42km because of Cyclone Lusi, but still involved three grueling climbs of the famous Te Mata Peak near Havelock North.

Andrew has had a long time interest in health, sport and fitness and will be well known to Kapiti readers for his excellent weekly motivational column in the Kapiti News. It is great news that he will soon be doing a regular column for KIN.

Andrew has his own website which is well worth a regular look:

Get along to the quiz if you can

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA~ Wednesday 16 April at 6.30

 ~ Boundary Tap and Kitchen in Raumati Beach

~ Teams of 6: $10 per person

~ Spot prizes, raffles, auction, drinks special

Contact Andrew Smith, 021 538 001 or email

Jo is a Kapiti athlete in world class in her chosen sport. She is well worth supporting.