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Hawkes Bays Forrest Gump

Words by Mia Sutherland

Local EIT tutor, Andrew McCrory, did what you might only dream of achieving, running the equivalent length of New Zealand. Running 50km each day for 40 days—that’s 40 ultramarathons. Andrew was aiming to fundraise $20,000 for kids with cerebral palsy to get selective dorsal rhizotomy surgery. This procedure is done on the lower spinal cord to reduce stiffness in the legs allowing for more movement. He began his epic journey early December last year but due to Covid-19 restrictions, Andrew could not begin his run at Cape Reinga as planned. Instead, starting from the top of Te Mata peak he ran to Gisborne, Opotiki, and Tauranga before he went down State Highway 1 to Wellington and onto the South Island. What surprised Andrew most was the kindness and support of everyone around him. Mates he hadn’t seen in 20 years, tracked him down and caught up to say that he was a legend for what he was doing.

Overwhelmed by all the support, Andrew found himself waiting for the daily commenters on Facebook to motivate him and remind him that he was able to finish what he started. 

The first, third, fourth and last days were the hardest, said Andrew, not just physically but mentally too. Maintaining a good diet was also on his checklist, as well as chocolate milk at the end of each day for a recovery drink. Now you may be thinking, wasn’t it summer? Indeed, it was. Andrew ran through everything, rain, wind, or shine and four pairs
of shoes. He found it amazing that people he didn’t even know would run alongside him and donate out of the blue. A grand total of just under $50,000 has been raised for the families and their children to get life-changing surgery. “Huge thanks to everyone,” says Andrew “even though I finished a while ago donations are still coming through”.
If you would like to support Andrew and learn about his upcoming events, pop on Facebook and search Running Aotearoa for SDR.
Keep an eye out for updates as he has lots more planned!