Meet the Team

At Marathon Tours we take care of the planning and admin so you can focus on your marathon. As Marathon runners ourselves, we speak from experience and can give you the best advice for your next Marathon. Contact us today!

Lining up to start the NYC marathon and hearing the band play 'New York, New York' and the cannon blasts is still one of my most cherished travel memories to date

Paul Forward

Phone: 07 856 9009 Email: Paul Forward

Owner and Managing Director

I've always been a keen sportsman, runner and an avid traveller. Having the opportunity to share these passions as Managing Director and owner of Calder & Lawson and Marathon Tours is something I am very grateful for.

My 25 years of experience working in various aspects of the travel industry has given me incredible travel opportunities and experiences which I use to benefit both our organisation and our clients.   

In terms of my running milestones, I am definitely now a social runner, however I have completed a number of marathons locally and overseas. Including the incredible Antarctica Marathon in March 2018 and the TCS New York City Marathon three times. I have also completed the Great Wall half marathon and 10km, as well as the Rotorua Marathon many (many!) years ago.

Combining a love of travel and being part of incredible international events like New York, Boston or Antarctica, is a dream come true. It's also what makes our job such a privilege, as we love being able to see our clients get to experience something so special.

This year's TCS New York City Marathon had a record field of nearly 53,000 runners and was unbelievable to be part of. You read about, hear about it from people who have done it before, but until you line up on that starting line yourself and hear the band play 'New York, New York' and then the cannon blasts, nothing prepares you for the excitement and the buzz you get from being part of the action.  

My goal is to join the Seven Continents Club by completing one marathon on each of the 7 continents. My next step is the Virgin Money London Marathon next April which will have me 4 Continents down and 3 to go!

So why choose us?

Firstly, we're travel professionals who are runners too and so we understand the hard work you put in and what you need leading up to the run and how to enjoy the rest of your trip following the event.

Secondly, we send multiple experienced staff as tour leaders to key events to provide on-the-ground assistance to our clients. They are all trained in first-aid, knowledgeable of travel and event management and have a love of travel. They lead the supporter tours on race day ensuring partners and families get to see their runners and walkers on the course and have just as an amazing time as the runners do. They also operate our own Help Desks in the hotel to assist with last minute travel bookings and changes.

And thirdly we have a proven track record of professionalism and provide 24x7 assistance free-of-charge to our clients, that ensures you will have an exceptional experience with us. Because of our people and our record, we are proud to be the official partner to amazing organisations such as Achilles New Zealand, Catwalk Trust, GetRunning and Doug Healeys Influence Crew. They trust us to manage their athletes and supporters and so can you.

Whether you're a social runner with a love of travel (that's me), a competitive runner out to achieve a PB, a keen walker, or looking to tick off a life-time goal, we can help get you there and love it.

We hope to see you on one of our trips.


s Event Count 6
D Training For Virgin Money London Marathon 2019
t Favourite Track Eye of the Tiger!

Set a goal and SMASH IT!

Sophie Russo

Phone: 07 8570457 Email: Sophie Russo

Marathon Tours Consultant

Growing up in the country in the mighty Waikato, I have always enjoyed being outdoors and active. Having lived in Australia and then going further abroad to begin my OE, travel is something I have become more and more passionate about. There are so many more places to tick off my bucket list so why not compete in a marathon while I'm at it?!

I joined Calder and Lawson as Sales Coordinator in 2015. Through my involvement working with Marathon Tours, it didn't take long for me to set my sights on these outstanding marathons in such exciting destinations. Having previously completed three marathons, this quickly doubled after becoming the Marathon Tours Consultant. I now have Africa, Asia, North America and Australasia under my belt and hope to complete South America, Antarctica and Europe to tick off all 7 continents.  I understand the motivation, determination and sacrifices that are involved to achieve such a challenging goal-  well done all of you for getting this far and contemplating taking part in an amazing event, in an equally amazing location.

Knowing that your flights, accommodation, sightseeing tours and tickets to special events are taken care of all you need to do is experience the holiday of a lifetime - oh and run 42kms!

s Event Count 7
D Training For Bagan Temple Marathon 2018 - Myanmar
t Favourite Track Chris Brown - Ayo

The miracle isn’t that I finished. The miracle is that I had the courage to start

Michael Denning-Kemp

Phone: 07 856 9009 Email: Michael Denning-Kemp

Marathon Tours Manager

Crossing that finish line! Since joining the Marathon Tours Team, I have learnt just how important this is to each and everyone of our clients and to be apart of this truly is an amazing experience. Soaking up the race day atmosphere with each of our groups of athletes and supporters is one of my absolute highlights when tour leading the New Zealand teams. After participating in the Great Wall Half Marathon this year, I have now set my sights on completing the TCS New York City Marathon in 2020 as our clients constantly tell me how fantastic this event is! 

I have become a keen runner and enjoy getting out on the weekends for a run and also entering running events when I can.  Apart from the feeling of finishing a race, I also enjoy being able to support people through their journey, see them overcome their challenges and be there to celebrate with them in their successes.  

The great thing about entering overseas marathons is that you get the added bonus of seeing some amazing landscapes and experiencing what these destinations have to offer.  Whether you want to tag on a trip to see the Giant Pandas after running The Great Wall or visit the Niagara Falls after running New York, our team can take care of everything so that you and your family and friends can enjoy yourselves.

I'm looking forward to getting to know you all, hearing your stories and being a part of your journey.

s Event Count 1
D Training For New York Marathon 2020
t Favourite Track Born to Run -Bruce Springsteen

Whether you think you can or you think you can’t, you’re right. – Henry Ford

Rebecca (Becs) Laing

Phone: 07 856 9009 Email: Rebecca (Becs) Laing

Marathon Tours Consultant

I have recently joined the Marathon Tours team and am looking forward to making our clients dreams a reality. I am passionate about travel, having spent 10 years working in the tourism industry both in New Zealand and abroad.   I enjoy the outdoors and keeping fit. While I am yet to complete my first full marathon I have done a couple of half marathons and you can regularly find me walking up the Hakarimatas during the week or joining in on park runs on the weekend. 

s Event Count 1
D Training For BMW Berlin Marathon 2020
t Favourite Track Giant - Calvin Harris and Rag’n’Bone Man

You have powers you never dreamed of. You can do things you never thought you could do. there are no limitations in what you can do except the limitations of your own mind. - Darwin P. Kingsley

Rachael Collins

Phone: 07 856 9009 Email: Rachael Collins

Marathon Tours Consultant

My name is Rachael Collins, and I have been in the Travel/Tourism industry for over 25 years.  I have lived, and travelled extensively overseas, and have currently been working here for over 18 years. As a mother of 3 daughters, I appreciate the time and commitment that these runners put into their training.

You can't help be inspired by the incredible people who rise to the challenge of being part of one of these Marathons.  It's great to see people combine a love of travel with the love of running, and creating amazing memories along the way.  I work with an amazing team who are so good at what they do and every day is fun! 

s Event Count 1
D Training For Great Wall 2019
t Favourite Track Black Eyed Peas – I Gotta Feeling

If you can dream it and are committed enough, you can make it happen.

Aleksandra Manowiec

Phone:  Email: Aleksandra Manowiec

Originally from Poland, I have always dreamt of travelling the world. I set myself a goal that, by the time I graduated from University, I will have visited at least three countries. Little did I know, by the time I had graduated, I'd have lived in the US, England and was departing on my around-the-world backpacking tour. I have been very fortunate to be able to continue my passion for travel and outdoor activities whilst organizing and leading cycling and hiking trips in Europe, the Americas and Asia for eight years.

A couple of years ago I have decided to settle New Zealand and was more than happy when Calder & Lawson offered me a job in their retail department.

In my current role as a Marathon Tours consultant, I am dedicated to making our clients' dreams come true. It's very inspiring to see people from different backgrounds and with different abilities, train hard to achieve that one goal, to cross the finish line! Our job is to make the travel arrangements smooth and the experience memorable. Although I've always been more of a trail runner, working with Marathon Tours and learning about all the great events we organize, I'm making myself a bucket-list of marathons that I'd love to complete. It's contagious!

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D Training For Paris Marathon 2020
t Favourite Track Rudimental - Feel the love


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