Over the next decade 2019 – 2029 we will create an arteft in the form of documentarys and research projects that will explore the powerful, often invisible drivers of the human spirit in response to extreme physical demands.
The subject of ‘Wairua’ (human spirit or soul) will be explored in the testing environment of ultra-endurance running . 10 of the most challenging and arduous ultra-marathons throughout the world have been selected. One event will be tackled annually by Jamie Milne, a New Zealand Maori who has a reputation and track record of undertaking unachievable tasks and exposing himself to extreme physical adversity. Jamie is willing to test his physical and mental boundaries, uncover his vulnerabilities and document the non-tangible, motivational drivers of the human spirit. Each event will focus on delivering relevant content in response to current gaps in research, public interest and identified trends in the media. The word “Wairua” can be broken down “Wai” can mean special or unique and “Rua” can mean to contain. Wairua is a multifaceted kupu (wording) and has a lot of meaning to it, both in the physical and metaphysical sense. Resonating with Jamie as it incapsulates exactly who he is at this point in his life. A multilayered man, proud Māori, connected to his people and to his land.
Funding of this project will enable the steps needed to capture not only the annual challenges but the preparation and personal investment of Jamie and the team members to share with the wider audience. The accompanying research will bring forth additional outcomes and contribute to the knowledge and discussions within the academic and health professional arena.