Ultra-marathoner Andrew McCrory is close to achieving his goal of running 50km per day for 40 days to raise funds for children with cerebral palsy.
McCrory, a Services Pathway Tutor at the Eastern Institute of Technology (EIT) in Hawke’s Bay, began his journey on 5 December last year and has run every day since then including Christmas Day and New Year’s Day.
“Things are going very well. I just treat every day as day one. It normally gets hard around the 40km mark each day, but I just tell myself to keep going. The kids I am raising money for don’t get a break, so I can’t take a break either.”
“I’ve just got to keep going, even if it’s 30 degrees and I have to walk,” says McCrory in a telephone conversation from Timaru this week.
McCrory’s original plan had been to run from Cape Reinga to the Bluff.
However, that was scuppered with Auckland being in COVID-19 lockdowns making his pathway down the North Island uncertain. Instead, he started his journey from the top of Hawke’s Bay’s Te Mata Peak and headed up to Gisborne, Opotiki and then Tauranga.
From there he cut across to State Highway 1, which he ran along down to Wellington and is still on in the South Island.
It may have been a change of plans, but McCrory, 47, has made sure that he is running exactly the same distance he would have if he had traversed the country from north to south.
Having passed the 30-day mark recently, McCrory has renewed energy and a recent boost to his GiveaLittle page, has made him more determined to help the children who inspire him.
McCrory’s target had been to raise $20,000, but that has been exceeded with more than $35,000 coming in.
“The GiveaLittle page has exploded, which is just fantastic. After all, it is all about the children and helping them get the expensive SDR (selective dorsal rhizotomy) surgery in the United States.”
McCrory says he has settled into a rhythm running each day – sometimes with friends – and then resting up to ease his tight hamstrings. Following him, every step of the way is his wife Kathleen and their dog, Gauge, in a van sponsored by EIT.
He says that he could not have done this without Kathleen, who, when it gets very hot, is waiting for him eight kilometres down the road with a towel and a chilly bin full of ice.
Despite his daily tribulations, McCrory is determined to keep going for the children he is supporting, some of whom he has not even met.
With no connection to anyone with cerebral palsy, McCrory was touched a few years ago by a Facebook post of Liv, a young girl with a chronic illness. It started him on a fundraising journey over the years that has culminated in this epic undertaking.
“It has been worth it for the cause I am supporting. Thanks to all the people who have donated and everyone who has tooted and waved as they have gone past.”
Glen Harkness, EIT’s Executive Director, Strategic Projects and Partnerships, says McCrory’s achievement is remarkable and EIT has been proud to offer him assistance in achieving his goal.
“Andrew has proved himself to be a legend and he has shown humility and kindness in working hard to help children who need him. EIT applauds that.”
Joining EIT in supporting McCrory are a number of businesses.
They are Skybright Health (Electrolytes), Wrightsock NZ (Running socks), Shoe Clinic Napier (Running shoes), NCubed Nutrition (Dietitian), Running Hot (Run Coaching), Rivers to Ranges (Running gear and torches), Boyce Podiatry (Fine-tuning of feet and shoes), Largo Sport (Massage), New World Havelock North, Branded, and Eastcoast Hunters.
If you would like to donate to Andrew’s cause, you can go to the Give a Little page Running Aotearoa for kids with Cerebral Palsy.