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.