News & Updates

9 September 2020 • General

Q and A: Three-time Rotorua Marathon winner Nyla Carroll

Three-time former Rotorua Marathon winner Nyla Carroll plans to make her 11th “Lap of the Lake” appearance in this year’s event. We quiz the 1996 Olympic 10,000m runner and 1994-1996 Rotorua Marathon victor about her vast knowledge and experience of running in the iconic race.

What’s your favourite thing about running?

Running is time out from life. Time to think and reflect and clear the mind – time to play and be a child again. It doesn’t cost anything and you can do it anywhere at any time. It is a great way to explore and embrace nature in all its elements. 

What would be your three reasons to enter the Rotorua Marathon?

Firstly, the Rotorua Marathon has a great history and great atmosphere – the whole town gets behind the event, people come out and cheer from their properties, hold parties on their front lawns to celebrate and encourage the runners – the music and support is truly uplifting.

Secondly, how often do you get to run right around the Lake (with the option of a shortcut – an arrow pointing out the swim option about midway!).

Thirdly, the fantastic finish into Government Gardens…the crowd support is amazing!

Is there any advice you can offer for a nervous Rotorua Marathon first-timer?

Any participant needs to understand that even getting to the start line is a big achievement. Marathon training is a grind and getting through an entire training cycle of heavy mileage, challenging long runs and faster workouts is no small feat. 

Have faith that you took on a challenge that most people wouldn’t even consider trying. Remind yourself you found the will to run at odd hours of the morning, in torrential downpours and freezing temperatures. 

Remember that you changed your lifestyle, your priorities and your mind-set. You committed to an ambitious goal and persevered. You are capable of anything you put your mind to…everyone feels nervous but relax and enjoy the day! You got this.

What’s your go-to post-run fuel?

I go with what my body is craving, which can differ depending on what sort of training I am doing, the time of year and what is seasonally available. I usually crave milkshakes or ice cream after running a marathon and can usually be found heading straight from the finish line to the nearest ice cream parlour!

Do you have any post-race recovery tips?

  • Keep moving as soon as you cross the line – movement is a key component of recovery
  • Start hydrating immediately – the sooner you replenish the fluids you have lost, the better you will feel
  • Eat or drink some carbohydrates – your body will tell you what it wants and needs, go with what you are craving
  • Get warm and dry – you will start cooling off rapidly
  • Give yourself at least a month to recover – one day for every mile of the marathon – listen to your body and be attentive to any aches or pains….walk, swim, bike and ‘actively rest’
  • Switch your priorities and spend more time doing other activities and, most importantly, do so with family and friends!
  • Give your body time to bounce back stronger in readiness to focus on the next goal

What’s your motivational phrase or mantra?

“Most of us have enough areas in our lives where we have to meet others’ expectations. Let your running be about your own hopes and dreams.”
Meb Keflezighi, 2004 Olympic marathon silver medallist and 2009 New York City Marathon winner

Nyla’s long-term ambition is to join the Survivors Club, which consists of runners who have completed 15 or more Rotorua Marathons.

The 2020 Rotorua Marathon is scheduled for Saturday 26 September.

We are closely monitoring the government alert levels and the well-being of all participants and spectators is our highest priority.

Check out the latest update at

If you’re interested in entering the 2020 Rotorua Marathon, click here to see all four distances on offer  – you can run or walk, so pick your pace!