A marathon effort
WHEN Mark Colthart hits the wall as he runs the Auckland Marathon this year, he’ll be repeating one word to himself over and over again – courage.
It’s something he’ll be needing to make his target time of under four hours and he hopes it will spur him on when “every fibre in my body wants to lie down and go to sleep”.
But the mantra is also something inspired by his mother, who passed away earlier this year after a long battle with cancer.
“My mum showed an immense amount of courage in her battle,” he says.
Mark will be remembering his mother in more ways than one when he crosses the start line on November 1.
He’s running to raise money for Mercy Hospice Auckland, which looked after her in her final months and during which time the staff became like an extended family, he says.
“They’re just very caring people that work there,” he says.
“They treat everyone there with a great amount of dignity and compassion.
“I had been looking for something to do to try and pay them back.”
So far his fundraising attempt is going “phenomenally well”.
Although he set an original target of $3000, his online fundraising page has reached $3800 so he’s set the bar even higher at $5000.
And to top off his effort, his family will be donat- ing an extra $20 for every minute he knocks off his previous time of four hours, 25 minutes.
The Mt Eden resident has been rising at 3.30am to fit in training five to six times a week, covering a total distance of about 70km, which he’ll be stepping up in the coming weeks.
He’s also been cross-training with off-road running and swimming and says he’s feeling pretty confident he’ll set a new personal best.
The trick, he says, will be getting to the start line without injury.
It’s the third time he’s run the event but he says doing it for charity is a different experience and has given him extra motivation.
“I often think about it when I’m out training,” he says.
“It’s made a real difference on those mornings that I didn’t want to get out of bed.”
Mercy Hospice corporate and community partnerships fundraiser Verity LeeSang says it’s wonderful to have Mark giving back to the hospice in this way.
She says there have al- ready been a few people this year who have fundraised through similar events such as Round the Bays and it’s something the hospice is trying to promote.
“We want to encourage people in the public to think like that.
“If you’re thinking of doing a challenging event, why not link it with a charity.
“It makes it so much more worthwhile,” she says.
To donate to Mark’s fundraising efforts, visit www.fundraiseonline.co.nz/ MarkColthart.
Mercy mission: Mark Colthart is running the Auckland Marathon to raise money for Mercy Hospice.