Underage entrant in event helps Hospice
A Whitby boy has raised money for charity by running in the Wellington marathon, and he had to lie about his age to compete.
Eleven-year old Kian Knight promised his cancer- stricken friend Va that he would do something special for her and her caregivers – and he kept that promise, strapping on his shoes and running the race of his life to raise $1100 for Mary Potter Hospice.
Participants in Wellington marathon’s 10 kilometre race must usually be over 13, but Kian was determined he would run that he lied on the entry form.
“I couldn’t not do it, after promising her,” Kian, who had never previously run a full 10km, said.
The Knight family were good friends of Va, who worked with Kian’s dad Wayne at the Whittaker’s factory.
“I have known Va for ages, since I was little,” he said.
Kian said Va spent about seven weeks at Mary Potter Hospice in Wellington before succumbing to cancer.
“She was a fighter, a real survivor. But then she died. “It was really sad. “I really like to fundraise for people who are in a less fortunate position than us,” he said.
Utilising his speed and fitness, Kian ran around the Whittaker’s factory, which his uncles own, gathering donations from Va’s old workmates.
“They knew her really well, and were sad, so wanted to take part,” Kian said.
He trained for the fundraising race with his dad, who is a halfmarathon runner.
“I would run eight or nine kilometres with dad, but I didn’t want to do the full 10km until the actual thing. I just put my head down and ran hard out at the finish line.
“I am faster than thought I could be.”
Kian came home in a respectable 51 minutes, which means he fundraised at a rate of over one thousand dollars per hour.
Mary Potter Hospice major relationships manager Charlotte White visited Kian’s school, Samuel Marsden Collegiate, last month, to receive his $ 1100 cheque.
She said he displayed remarkable ‘‘ up- and- go’’ and proved kids can achieve extraordinary things.
“It shows that people of all ages can support in whatever way they can.”
Kian said he is pleased the money will be used to pay the salaries of hospice nurses.
His mum Patsy Knight said she was extremely proud of her “very good kid”.
Fundraising runner: Eleven-year-old Kian Knight of Whitby decided to run 10 kilometres in the Wellington marathon to raise money for Mary Potter Hospice.