All the work Geoffrey Wilson, of Wanaka, has done at Pilates was put to the test in the snow on the Pisa Range last week.
Mr Wilson, who has been a paraplegic since falling from a tree 13 years ago, completed the 7km event at the Merino Muster at the Snow Farm.
He was accompanied by his Pilates instructor Joss Toomey who convinced him to have a go.
“I managed to get through.
“It was fun, although I don’t know if I will go on to the 21km [event].”
Mr Wilson said he would be 61 next month and felt he might have “left his run too late” to go to the next level.
Previously a painter and now a jeweller, Mr Wilson has always been a keen skier, even since his accident, and found cross-country skiing did not give him the same “grief” as downhill.
“It’s just a way of connecting into the snow scene and being up on the mountain because when you are in a wheelchair your world closes in a bit.”
In the 42km Merino Muster marathon, United States skiers Jessie Diggins and Simeon Hamilton successfully defended their titles, leading home the field of 130.
A total of 288 competitors took part in the three events last Saturday.
Director Mary Lee said conditions were perfect and she was delighted so many children took part.