Trail Runner and community cheerleader
As far as the North Island goes, Wellington seems to be right up there for trail runners. Heather McDonald is no exception. From cross country running as a kid, building up to her first adult event, Wellington Round the Bays, running has always been an outlet for her.
Heather knows that life is always full of challenges, but it's a bit like running. A positive attitude and resilience will always get you through.
Dog Mum to Astro the White Wolf - you'll often find Heather outside with various running groups around Wellington. About 8 years ago she joined a women's running group, who were integral in introducing her to the trails having previously been a road runner. Together they've been on lots of amazing adventures. Heather even stepped up to design one herself for her friends in Wanaka earlier in 2021 when the Motutapu Marathon was cancelled due to a Covid alert change. Race Director Heather stepped up and created a course, race regulations, bibs and medals for her friends so that they could still enjoy their planned weekend away running.
Never far from a smile or a kind word, Heather's positive outlook means she's not afraid of a challenge. Having previously helped organise aid stations for the Wuu2K event in Wellington, she's giving the team event a go this year and she's really looking forward to being out there with her fellow trail lovers.
She doesn't take life too seriously, and you'll often find her giving back to the groups she runs with. More recently her and Astro dressed up as Little Red Riding Hood and the Big Bad Wolf to help raise funds for a local Porirua kids run club. This meant trekking up and down Mt Victoria as many times as they could in full costume.
Heather has some awesome personal races on the cards this year, from Saturday morning parkruns to trail ultra's later in the year and early in 2022.
Her advice for women out there? Appreciate the little things. The views at the top of the climb, the sun shining (she does live in Wellington after all), and never underestimate your own ability to brighten someone else's day!
When she's not out on the trails, Heather works full time in communications. You'll also find her at barre classes, walking Astro, exploring the best brunch spots in Wellington with friends. And you know they'll be planning their next runventure together.
Keep up with Heather's adventures in colour by following her on Insta @heatherwtgn