Auckland Marathon 2023

For a short/highlight video of my pushing the marathon, click here…

Not just another marathon, this is only my 6th marathon, my third Auckland Marathon over the Harbour Bridge.

I’ve had the pleasure of being in the first 2018 Harbour Bridge crossing when wheelchairs were invited back into the Auckland Marathon event. That first time was a bit of eye opener, then I smashed it in 2021 (actually January 2022 due to being postponed due to Covid19 restrictions), wearing my squirrel suit, in under 3 hours.

This year I only wore my squirrel head, not the entire suit, due to my fitness level, and I wanted to test the adjustments we had made to the head (thanks to All West Canvas for getting adjustments done during a lunch break!). Went to the registration on Sat with Chris, cheers for the ride, along with my race chair. Then I collected Chris from the finish line, on way to the start line Sunday morning. At the finish line my friend Graeme collected me at the finish, and took me back to the start, to collect my own car. Sounds confusing, but this was the best way to organise Chris and my chairs to the start, and letting my friend Graeme get another few hours sleep!

The Marathon itself was great, along with Achilles helping organise and support it for the disabled entrants, I felt so privileged and happy with how it went. Planning pre-event, registration and post-event wouldn’t be the same without the wonderful, helpful faces or Achilles team of athlete and supporters. A huge thank you to you all. Chris and I got out of the car in complete darkness, amidst a whirlwind of a storm of wind, nut luckily no rain.

Started pushing around and warm up before hitting the hills of Church Street after the starters orders. Going around Takapuna on our way to the Smales Farm bus station, I was thinking, “Why am I doing this? I could’ve sleep in today.”. Then along the bus road, and over the Harbour Bridge. Around this time I twisted my wrist, because the last 15 or so km were slow and sore. I didn’t push very hard and my heart rate dropped to around 130BPM. As we went through Silo Park were the tram tracks were, someone jumped out in front of me, and made me drop into the track. Luckily I did loose my wheel or damage anything, so that’s good.

By the time I reached the finish line at Victoria Park, my wrist was still hurting, but now so was my shoulder due trying to offset sore wrist… Ha ha, my shoulder didn’t hurt for long, just pulled muscles I think.

Overall, wonderful event, great people, and I fully recommend the Auckland Marathon to anyone for running over the Harbour Bridge! Yes-haa

Boccia regionals – 10th Sept

It was an early start for me on a Sunday, but I knew nothing about the game, so it’s a step learning curve from there!

I learned so much in the first game and even managed to enter most of the scores right. Well, it turns out this is a great game, and I found it quite intense once I started to understand the rules. Honestly, in one games I was watching, I thought it might be easy, it looked easy. In reality, I know it only looked easy, because the guy I was watching was good.

A big thank you for being invited to help out, and helping teach me the game. I look forward to helping support Boccia again in the future.

Right Track – Large Group

I was privileged to speak the Right Track program today.

This program is to help the youth of today become better and make better choices. The week long program is aimed at supporting youth that has been in trouble, or at risk of being in trouble with the police.

Big thanks to the Spinal Unit and Right Track for having me. Rose and Orla did a fantastic job of setting everything up for Lee Taniwha and myself. We had a new guy Steven and next time seems like he’ll be jumping into to the programΒ as well.

They were all really receptive and asked some great questions. I really enjoy watching them all learn about spinal injuries and being in the chairs while going through the obstacle course.

StepUp -Skytower corporate public climb

What a fantastic event, always is πŸ™‚

All funds raised go towards LBC NZ to help and support people with cancers. They do great work in the public sector supporting so many different people with so many different cancers. I’m proud to be able to help this event, along with FiredUp Events.

It always amazes me how this event starts, so fast and rushed everything, then ending abruptly. Fun, fun, fun, then stop! Ha ha. Just smashing through the day and letting all these wonderful people come and play, running up the tower. They’re always so happy to get themselves out of breath, and some of them have even trained for this! Ha ha.

If you want to get involved, or your company to get a team together, check out the StepUp websiteΒ  or LBC calendar for entry conditions. I have no idea, I just help make people smile and wait around at the start ready line πŸ˜€

Taupo Motorsport Track, July, ZoomZoom (round2)

After a great season, even with some excitement in the garage, we managed to have a very successful first Round. Morrell Motors looked at ZoomZoom and with some parts, fixed the problems we were facing last Round.

So Sat saw us revisiting Gray in the drivers seat and Travis in the passenger seat at Taupo for Round 2 of Sprints. Gary and Travis are both now looking at going for their C Class licenses in next couple of weeks.

Sunday was Clubmans racing, on for International Track again for Kurt and I. We found the fuel problem rearing its head, however we had a Yogi (RnR Automotive) on our team. He shot into town and picked up a new fuel pump, then fitted it between races! No easy feet when the pump is in the fuel tank.

Great day, great weekend and at the end of the day ZoomZoom was on Gary’s trailer and after driving the whole time, and then trailered home to Gary’s shed. Another fantastic weekend for Team Motive πŸ™‚

 

Accessibility video for AT

Helping promote the walk ways and pathways around Auckland πŸ™‚ Β I normally push around on my day chair or race chair, but when with friends on bikes, it’s easier on my hand cycle.

When in a wheelchair, pretty much every activity means using a different piece of equipment, or having an adapted mod added to the day chair.

I personally find it really cool to be healthy and encourage others, and especially other chair users, to also think about their health and future πŸ™‚ We only have one body, and how we treat our bodies, really effects how our mind works as we age.

Taupo Motorsport Track, ZoomZoom (round1)

June 22nd saw the Sprints and 23rd had Clubmans racing.

Big thanks to Vijay and Taupo Car Club for having ZoomZoom and Team Motive part of the Winter Series. It’s a big jump from summer driving at Hampton Downs, to cold, wet driving in Taupo Motorsport Track. One of our support crew even brought along his Mini Marcos to take around the track! What a blast. Oh and thanks to Tim’s wife for the lovely Beanies she kitted for the Team πŸ™‚

Track day sprints on Saturday was great, getting couple of new guys out in the passenger seat, and Gray in the drivers seat with his M class license.

We had some trouble with ZoomZoom not running 100%, something that got worse as Sunday went on. Both Kurt and myself were cutting up the track, until we had to withdraw due to continued issues (& not wanting to damage the vehicle). Just so happens, as we were going to withdraw, the organisers had stopped racing.

With the help of Gary Morrell (of Morrell Motors) he towed it back to his place for safe keeping in Taupo, then to his garage for diagnostics. Morrell Motors suggested a few replacement parts, and should be ready for next Round of Winter Series

Right Track – Sat 10th May

Another fantastic collection of youth at the Auckland Spinal Unit in Otara πŸ™‚ They were very attentive and asked some good questions.

The 9 attendees jumped in wheelchairs and had a good feel for what life could be like if they (or friend) had a spinal injury. Fun at the start, but got more real as Lee Taniwha and myself shared our stories.

Huge thanks to John, Helen, the officers and others involved in making this Right Track program a success.

1yr in Racing (in ZoomZoom) at Hampton Downs

So a year ago, this finale of the season forΒ Classic Time Trial saw me in Lucy and my first time out… a year later, and I still love it πŸ™‚

Barbara Manning gave me a look at the Trophy I won last year (Covid and other challenges stopped me being able to hold it), and it was great meeting her and chatting about her husband Geoff. Amazing to meet a legend that is Barbara at the track, and who’s husband helped build Hampton Downs itself!

I arrived early, and had great help from Andrew Leach (who actually arrived before me!). He towed ZoomZoom to the track in his covered trailer, and helped me get set up! Great man. After scrutineering, while I was at drivers briefing, Andrew set about fixing up our bonnet that needing adjustment. So great having help like that at the track, meant I didn’t have to worry about much, apart from driving Zoomzoom.

The day itself was almost perfect, weather held out and only rained a little at lunch time. We had a dial in time for ‘damp’ weather after lunch, but really the track was pretty dry. Overall a great day, plenty of fun on and off the track. Everyone drove well, even after someone got their keys out of the boot so they could get their Jag out there… Ha ha.

 

Wings for Life World Run (Red Bull)

Let’s do a run ‘Wings for Life’, at 11pm at night, on a Sunday!! Ha ha, sounds like madness, but it’s for a good cause.

All the proceeds from WFLWR event goes to spinal research, what a great cause.

It was raining, my squirrel suit head was smashing on my glasses (hurting my nose), and my hands were slipping on my push rims giving me blisters and stuff. That’s ok, could’ve been worse… After a few laps (3 laps I think), apparently I’d managed to do 0.01km in 30mins before the virtual car caught me. I still managed to come 70782nd in the world, and 215th local male position. Ha ha, so I still did ok!

Oh well, unlike almost every event, this event wasn’t about the distance, it was about the fun in fundraising. 206,728 people took part and raised over 5.8mil Euro!! Great job everyone πŸ™‚

Putting the fun in fun-draising, this event was great, I’ll be back again next year that’s for sure. Maybe in 2024 I wont finish in the middle of the ocean! Ha ha, that’s what the app said.

wflwr_certificate_2023_