© Steve Landells

Octogenarian athlete Garth Barfoot, who was unable to finish the New York City Marathon (USA) last weekend, has quickly set his sights on completing the 60th anniversary edition of the Rotorua Marathon next May.

The 87-year-old New Zealand athlete abandoned his attempt to complete the 42.2 km New York Marathon but will not abandon his tireless effort to complete the next competition at Lake Rotorua, where he will attempt to complete 19 laps of endurance.

The Oceania-born runner, born in 1936, stated, "In New York, I really started to feel the cold, and the temperature began to take its toll," says Garth, who was the oldest runner in the field in New York. "I was concerned that it would get dark before I finished, and it would be challenging for me to return to the base, so after 30 km, I stopped and thought I could save myself for the Rotorua Marathon next May."

The marathoner has completed over 30 races and numerous Ironman triathlons since completing his first Rotorua Marathon in 1990 at the age of 64, crossing the finish line alongside his wife Judy.

In May 2024, at almost 88 years old (he will turn 88 a few days after the marathon), he will have the opportunity to complete the 42.2 km race, taking just over 9 hours, which was his completion time in 2021.