Wellington mourns loss of Bernie Portenski
1 February 2017
All of Wellington will be mourning the loss of local hero and notable Wellingtonian Bernie Portenski, says Wellington Mayor Justin Lester.
was an outstanding Wellingtonian, who turned to serious athletics relatively
late, then became a world-class runner at various age levels,” he says.
had an infectious personality and was a positive, can-do person who inspired
turned her life around after she turned 30, giving up smoking and becoming a fine distance runner. She qualified for the 1992 Barcelona
Olympics, but was not selected – at 42, her age counted against her. She went
on to set a string of world age-group records and completed 33 consecutive
Rotorua Marathons, winning three of them.
runners will know Bernie for her wonderful attitude and her boisterous
encouragement. She was named Wellingtonian of the year in 1998,” says the
“She was a great local character, a committed
sportsperson and Wellingtonian, and we will miss her greatly.”