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Next year’s event will, in fact, be his 26th.
Of course, there’s the obvious question that Maitland gets whenever he discloses this to people.
Why does he keep doing it? The answer is pretty simple.
“Because I enjoy it. That’s why.”
Maitland said for him, the event offers up something new every time he does it.
“I know that there are people who do the event only once because it’s something on their bucket list and they want to tick it off and there’s nothing wrong with that.
“For me, the event is strongly aligned with what I enjoy in life. I like a challenge and I love being outdoors, so I do it because I enjoy it.”
Maitland will be 60 when he competes in 2020 and after overcoming some health issues, he’s looking forward to tackling it again.
“I think the build-up and the preparation is different every time that I compete, and I think that keeps it interesting as well.
“Every year you’re in a different stage of life with different commitments and responsibilities, so some years have been tougher than others. I’m very lucky that I have such a supportive family.
“The first few years I competed I was married but had no children and then over other years we had young kids and more commitments, but I’d train when the kids were in bed. It teaches you a lot about real commitment and having that honesty and accountability in your life - if you get that wrong it bites.
“You’ve got to be ready on the day. When the gun goes the bulls*** stops.”
Maitland said while the course has been the same over the years, there’s always something different and the event has never got mundane.
“I like how it’s a challenge but it’s certainly achievable and it’s achievable for anyone. You look around and you see things that you haven’t noticed before and the landscape changes too.
“I’ve never been bored with it. I don’t do boring and I don’t procrastinate.”
Maitland said over the years he has developed a deeper appreciation for the event rules and preparation.
He said when he first started competing, he was one of those people who challenged why things had to be done a certain way for health and safety – thinking it was all a bit unnecessary, but that view has changed.
“I’ve witnessed when things have gone wrong and how much worse they could have been if they didn’t have the processes and policies in place that they do so I have a lot of respect for the way the event is run.”
For Maitland he said his next event will be about proving to himself that despite being 60 and having had some health battles he still has what it takes.
Having lived many years in Hokitika before venturing on to Kaikoura and then Christchurch. Maitland believes he has had some of the best training backdrops in the country to help him prepare for the event over the years. He never tires of the training and believes training for the event actually makes him better in other aspects of his life – it gives him “a fizz.”
“I just love the event and what it represents. Being in the outdoors, it’s motivational and most importantly it’s achievable.”