Putaruru runner puts on his wings
A Putaruru runner will wear his heart on his sleeve as he attempts to raise awareness of spinal cord injuries by going the extra mile.
Martin Bloxham will take part in a unique global race staged simultaneously in 34 countries.
This is the third year he has participated in The Wings for Life World Run which will be held in Melbourne in May.
And the volunteer from the Spinal Cord Society in Matamata will run for two friends who can’t.
Danny Mcbride and Marc van de Laar from Putaruru will be the driving force behind Bloxham’s goal to complete the 10 kilometre run.
He will race in the 55-60 age category and it seems his enthusiasm for the cause has caught on as six locals join him in the event.
‘‘It’s a high. You feel like you’re achieving something and your not just sitting on your butt and your doing it with dear friends together.’’
Training has been ‘‘stepped’’ up with resistant training, burpees and increased walking sessions.
‘‘Where can you raise money and have fun and still be active.’’
Armed with a desire to raise awareness of the high number of spinal injuries in New Zealand, Bloxham has been on a mission to get as much money as he can.
Since starting in February, he has added $500 to the kitty with raffle tickets, stalls at the Matamata market and a dinner held at the Cambridgeracing Track.
He, along with runners from every corner of the world, are trying to bring the cure for spinal injury one step closer.
Thanks to the race, around £7 million (NZ$14,517,400) so far has been raised to help with research projects around the world.
‘‘That’s why I do it. I can run, I’m a jock, so why can’t I run for someone who can’t,’’ Bloxham said.
The pioneer was one of the original competitors who ran in Auckland when the run first started globally in 2014.
Supporter Philip van de Laar said he gave his full credit to any financial support that might help his brother walk again.
‘‘Marc’s aware what Martin’s doing. Physically he has a life long injury so hopefully this research can help.’’
Putaruru supporters (back left to right) Philip van de Laar, Waylon Paki, 7, Hannah van de Laar and Braydon Paki, 11, will be cheering Martin Bloxham and Wisdom Whare,15 (front) as they head out to Melbourne for The Wings for Life World Run.