Time for a new physical challenge that’s actually fun? Great! Time to meet our latest Happylocal Hero, Miranda then…

“As humans, we all need to belong; to one another, to our friends and families, to our culture and country, even to our world. Belonging is primal, fundamental to our sense of happiness and well-being” (The importance of belonging, CNN 2012). In particular, we thrive if we are part of a community. Community is defined as being a group of people living in the same place or having a particular characteristic in common. Here in the Bay of Plenty, a passionate sense of community can be found throughout the region, especially when you hone in on an uplifting, empowering event like The Generation Homes Women’s Triathlon run by the community crusader, Miranda Clark.

Relentless in her vision for the event from day dot, with boundless energy and the ability to convince absolutely any woman to give it a go, she is doing this region proud in creating an experience (along with the help of awesome sponsors) that actually changes lives. With 400 eager ladies straight off the mark in the first year and in it’s most recent year, it got a whopping 700 participants! This triathlon is entry level, about participation and camaraderie – it’s a fine example of a community around an interest.

Happylocal interviewed Miranda recently to hear more about what makes her get up in the morning (apart from her gorgeous wee girl Sam!), why she loves running the event in the Bay of Plenty and what she looks forward to being developed here in the future.

So Miranda, tell us a little background on the event?

Well, I’ve done a few events myself and got involved with the local tri club. After being asked to get involved with the committee and doing the communications for them while I was on maternity leave, I decided to pick up where previous events had left off like the Expose’, The Bendon Women’s Tri and then finally the Special K Women’s Duathlon Series.

To run an event like this it’s 80% heart, passion, and soul – the rest is good budgeting, you simply can’t put a price on the contribution of volunteers and the intellectual property of people running the show!

What are your hopes and dreams for the future of the Bay of Plenty?

Well if they try to make the Pilot Bay area a single traffic flow area then there goes all your multi-sporting events, as you need the two lanes for the cycling. But I’m not necessarily against it, it just makes things tricky. The events team in Tauranga are doing a great job, they’ve put in a lot of effort to keep things happening on the waterfront and who knows one day we may have that vibe the way Wellington or San Francisco does! We still need to have more of an identity established, as yet it isn’t a tourist destination or where you’d go for culture so seeing this develop further is something I look forward to.

Your event harnesses the power of volunteers; what would you say to people who haven’t yet made volunteering a part of their lives?

You could go for a run and release some endorphins, but you can also get the same feel-good benefits by volunteering at a traffic intersection during an event seeing ladies go past on their bikes and cheering them on. Social human interaction and from a mindset perspective, it’s simply so good for you to get out there as a volunteer. However, to commit and contribute you need to be pretty strong as you’re obviously not getting paid but you’re there to support all the others in it with you – the support crew, organisers, all the competitors. It takes a special type of person to be up for that! To learn more about the event community, simply follow them on Facebook here.

And on that final note, we couldn’t agree more! If are you up for the challenge of getting more involved with your community, then check our app for the latest micro-volunteering roles and community groups you can join.