Waikanae man sets re­lay for life tar­get


A 67-year-old Kapiti man’s ‘‘spurof-the-mo­ment’’ line has got him more than he bar­gained for - the chal­lenge of walk­ing 100 kilo­me­tres in 18 hours.

David Thomas, from Waikanae, has signed up for the Kapiti edi­tion of Re­lay for Life later this month.

He is aim­ing to walk 100km, or al­most two and a half marathons, as an in­di­vid­ual dur­ing the 18-hour team event.

All money raised goes to The Cancer So­ci­ety, and David will par­tic­i­pate as part of men’s health group Whirl­wind’s team.

The Kapiti Ten Pin bowl­ing em­ployee was dis­cussing the event with man­ager Doreen Aldrich about a month ago.

When she told him she’d done 72km at the 2015 event, he claimed he could walk 100km.

‘‘When I said it I was think­ing ‘that’s a piece of cake’,’’ he said.

‘‘[Usu­ally] you do a few laps, some­one takes over and some­one takes over from them. I’m not do­ing that. I’m the men­tal one.

‘‘By putting my­self out there ... the silly old man do­ing 100km in 18 hours, I’m hop­ing to make a bit of a pro­file.

‘‘It is quite pos­si­ble I’ve bit­ten off more than I could chew.’’

Thomas walks reg­u­larly with two Kapiti walk­ing groups. How­ever, to achieve his goal, he will have to smash a se­ries of per­sonal bests.

He walks about 75km per month. The fur­thest he has walked con­tin­u­ously is 25km, on two con­sec­u­tive days dur­ing the Long Walk Home event, from Welling­ton Rail­way Sta­tion to Rau­mati Beach, last year.

He said his nor­mal walk­ing pace is 5.5 kmh, but he would aim to walk at 7kmh to al­low him to take oc­ca­sional half-hour breaks as well.

David also hopes to raise aware­ness for Whirl­wind, which he joined in Oc­to­ber af­ter a bat­tle with de­pres­sion.

David will be spurred on by read­ings from the Bi­ble, au­dio­books and 1960s mu­sic through his head­phones.

His wife Cather­ine Thomas said she was sup­port­ive of his de­ci­sion.

‘‘It’s great he’s chal­leng­ing him­self and great he’s do­ing it for char­ity ... I think part of it is cancer and part of it is Whirl­wind, who helped him out of a sticky patch.’’

* The Kapiti Re­lay for Life is at Mazen­garb Re­serve in Para­pa­raumu, from Satur­day, Fe­bru­ary 18, 4pm, to Sun­day, Fe­bru­ary 19, 10am.

David Thomas is aim­ing to walk 100km by him­self at Kapiti’s Re­lay for Life.

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