Lion tack­les Sand to Mud

Franklin County News - - Sport - By AARON GOILE

The 33rd an­nual Waiuku Sand to Mud Fun Run kicks off on Sun­day and or­gan­iser Grant Thomp­son is sick of be­ing just a helper.

In­stead, the 57-year-old will this year com­pete in the 8km event for the first time. ‘‘This year I thought ‘I’m just gonna do it’,’’ he said. ‘‘I’ve al­ways wanted to have a go and I’m in the best nick since play­ing premier rugby years ago.’’

The fun run/walk is a ma­jor fundraiser for the Waiuku Lions Club, of which Grant is a mem­ber. He has two main goals for the day – the first is to fin­ish the race, and the sec­ond is to do so in un­der an hour.

Hav­ing been in­volved in the event for eight years, he is pretty fa­mil­iar with the course which starts at Kar­i­oitahi Beach and fin­ishes at the town clock, and has a plan in his head as to the best way to tackle it. ‘‘The first 1.8km is straight up­hill so I’ll walk up there then see how the en­ergy level is and I’ll try and jog the rest.’’

Ear­lier this month Grant walked an im­pres­sive 20 hours in one day dur­ing the Re­lay For Life to pay trib­ute to a friend he lost to can­cer. Dur­ing the event he suf­fered from se­verely blis­tered feet and he re­mem­bers tip­ping the blood out of his shoes.

Funds from Sun­day’s event are used to pay for eight pri­mary school stu­dents to at­tend a YMCA camp, as well for secondary stu­dents to spend six weeks in Aus­tralia as part of a youth ex­change.

En­tries for Sun­day’s event are open to in­di­vid­u­als, as well as pri­mary school teams with the cost $ 8 per adult, $ 5 per secondary stu­dent and $3 per pri­mary stu­dent.

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