As many one-lin­ers as her 104 years

Kapiti Observer - - FRONT PAGE - JOEL MAXWELL

It was the words from the po­lice of­fi­cer that defini­tively marked the end of Tony Cooke’s time with his wife.

Caro­line Boyd, pub­lic ser­vant, women’s ad­vo­cate and avid jog­ger, was gone only a few hours, lay only a few hun­dred me­tres away, but this was the mo­ment the bomb­shell dropped.

‘‘There’s no easy way to say this,’’ the of­fi­cer said.

As Boyd’s fam­ily use her per­sonal run­ning map to help heal the trauma of her death, her hus­band has spo­ken about the mo­ments af­ter his wife was struck and killed by a car while jog­ging in Paeka¯ka¯riki.

She was hit near the in­ter­sec­tion of Welling­ton and Ocean roads in the Ka¯piti Coast vil­lage on March 19.

Cooke sat on the sofa across from the door Boyd walked out that Sun­day morn­ing and never re­turned.

‘‘It was very tough to be­gin with, com­ing back here by your­self, be­cause we have very fond memories,’’ he said.

‘‘She loved com­ing up here and chill­ing out next to the sea ... be­ing part of the com­mu­nity.’’

Now the Caro­line Boyd Me­mo­rial Walk/Run will be held on Novem­ber 12 in Paeka¯ka¯riki, trac­ing Boyd’s favourite run­ning tracks near their week­end home on The Parade.

Cooke and daugh­ter Becky Cooke were or­gan­is­ing the event as a fundraiser and a way to cel­e­brate Boyd’s life. It is a way for Tony Cooke to keep mov­ing on.

‘‘We had been mar­ried 30 years. We are just try­ing to put our lives back to­gether.’’

Even though his wife lay only a block away from their house, he didn’t find out for sev­eral hours be­cause she had no iden­ti­fi­ca­tion.

Even­tu­ally he headed to the Paeka¯ka¯riki surf club and said he was look­ing for a mid­dle aged jog­ger. The surf club had al­ready been told by po­lice a woman had been hit and killed in the vil­lage.

‘‘Then the po­lice­man ar­rived ... and he took me through fur­ther iden­ti­fi­ca­tion be­cause he wanted to make sure I was the right per­son. And then he dropped the bomb­shell. I think he said, his com­ment was, ‘there’s no easy way to say this’.’’

Anger, he said was wasted en­ergy.

One of the ways to keep his wife’s mem­ory alive was the run - for fam­ily and the Paeka¯ka¯riki com­mu­nity, ‘‘where this has been a to­tally un­ex­pected and trau­matic event’’.

The event cov­ers parts of the route she used to run, with 10km and 5km run and walk­ing op­tions. The pro­ceeds would sup­port youth, women and the lo­cal com­mu­nity. The fam­ily would match the money, dol­lar for dol­lar.

Becky Cooke said run­ning was one of her mum’s big­gest pas­sions and peo­ple recog­nised her distinc­tive, wide-el­bowed run­ning style.

She would be join­ing in the 10km run her­self.

‘‘I’ll be think­ing about mum, remembering her, think­ing this is the run she did.’’

Hope­fully Boyd would be think­ing of them and smil­ing, she said, ‘‘and the sun will come out’’.

A man has ap­peared in the HIgh Court on charges re­lated to her death and will ap­pear again on De­cem­ber 1.

For in­quiries about the Caro­line Boyd Me­mo­rial Walk/Run email car­o­lineboy­, or reg­is­ter at en­teron­


Becky Cooke and fa­ther Tony Cooke, daugh­ter and hus­band of Caro­line Boyd (in­set), whose life will be cel­e­brated with a me­mo­rial walk/run on Novem­ber 12 in Paeka¯ka¯riki.

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