George took on the ASB Auckland Marathon in 2016 to raise funds for Cure Kids, this is his story.
Why did you decide to take on the Auckland Marathon?
I decided to take on the Auckland Marathon in memory of my step sister Isabel who sadly passed away in May 2016 to Meningitis back in the UK. From a personal point of view, I had lost a lot of weight (80kgs to be exact) and had cemented that long term goal to do a marathon but I never intended to do one as soon as I did. When Isabel passed, I found it incredibly tough dealing with her death on this side of the world and running was my ‘get out’ clause when I just needed time to myself. I wanted to honour her memory and having seen a ‘golden runner’ advertisement pop up on Facebook for the Auckland marathon, I decided to take the plunge.
What made you fundraise for Cure Kids, rather than just taking part in the event?
I wanted to fundraise for a charity that helps children who suffer with illnesses, every child deserves the best possible chance in life. I had heard of Cure Kids before through the great sponsorship the team has with the All Blacks so I was aware of what they were about. When I saw the ‘golden runner’ opportunity on Facebook, I scoured through the list of possible charities and Cure Kids were one of the first on the list. All I had to do was read the first line of the Cure Kids website to know that they were the charity I wanted to run for. For me to now say that what I raised went to the amazing work that Cure Kids does is something I am incredibly proud of!
How did you feel crossing the finish line on race day?
Emotional, Tired, Exhausted, Excited, Proud… Just a few words that blurt out of my head when I first read the question. It’s a great day, it’s quite peculiar with the really early start, the adrenaline kicks in from the off and once you cross that line and the emotions have kicked in, it’s odd looking at your watch and it being really early in the morning. Still, I remember being on cloud 9 right up until that night, there were no afternoon naps for me!
What would you say to others who are thinking about fundraising for Cure Kids, but are unsure?
DO IT! You are only one decision away from changing a child’s life, I could not recommend a charity more. Everyone involved from the kids to the staff to the parents are incredible and very, very supportive. The team were always sending emails with tips and guidance on how to keep fundraising or they would regularly check in to see how things are going. I felt (& still do) part of the Cure Kids family. Had it not been for injuries this year, I had every attention to do the Queenstown marathon this year for Cure Kids but hey – always next year eh!