Molly Spark is a 16-year-old multisport adventurer from New Zealand. She has competed in a number of events across New Zealand and in 2020 she competed in her first Kathmandu Coast to Coast. Talk to Molly for just a moment and you will instantly see that this is someone who lives and breathes adventure, with a passion and energy that makes everyone want to lace up and take on a trail!
Can you remember what first got you interested in multisports?
Ever since I was about ten yeras old, my Dad has done the GODZone. It was always fun following him around and I began to be drawn to running and multisports. One day at school we got a team of eight together, we put our names forward for a week-long adventure race on Great Barrier Island. It was the best week of my life! We started entering into all sorts of races. Now the whole school is interested in adventure racing.
What do you love most about competing in events like Coast to Coast?
I just love the environment. Everyone is supportive along the way and the conversations you have push you along as you go. Every single time you do it, it is different. Even if it is the same race, it is never the same.
How do you feel when you’re surrounded by nature?
We live in the country and I have to mention pig hunting of course! I’ve been pig hunting since I was about five. It’s the adrenaline that first gets me. If you have a bad day, nature both calms you down but then this adrenaline rushes over you. Some people have a shower or a bath, I just need a walk or something, it clears my mind.
What are your aspirations for the near future?
Where to start? The Hillary Challenge, the Coast to Coast next year. When I’m older, I want to be a professional adventure racer with mainly the three disciplines of kayaking, trekking and running, and mountain biking. I want to be doing the big 7-day events.
What influence do you think you have on your friends?
We have a top mixed team, but I’m the only girl in school into it. There are definitely girls who do it but it’s the ones who don’t care about the mud and cold.
Do you have women who inspire you with your goals?
Definitely Simone Maier and Sia Svendsen. Sia came up to me after the Coast to Coast and asked how she could support my mental and physical training. You need to be able to pick yourself up 500km from the finish line when you hit that wall.
My mum and dad are really supportive. I’ve grown up in the country and Dad doing GODZones was truly inspirational.