Marathon fundraising effort planned

Marathon not a sprint . . . Mel Read, of Oamaru, sets off on her first walk as she attempts to complete a marathon in a month to raise money for the Cancer Society. PHOTO: SUPPLIED

Oamaru woman Mel Read is getting in step with a nationwide fundraiser this month.

The Cancer Society is encouraging people to complete a marathon across November as a way to raise money for the charity.

Participants can walk, run, cycle, swim or skip the 42km distance of a marathon throughout the month. Mrs Read was feeling enthusiastic about the challenge of fundraising.

‘‘I quite enjoy walking, so I’m just going to be trying do a 2km walk every day, and then I’m going to increase it over the time.

‘‘I’ve done a couple of half marathons, but I’ve never done a full marathon.”

She believed the Cancer Society was a great cause to get behind.

‘‘We all know somebody that had or has been affected by cancer.’’

Mrs Read was inspired by her daughter to sign up and help raise money, she said.

‘‘My daughter, actually, a few years ago, shaved her hair off in raising money for leukaemia, and I just felt like this was something I could do to contribute to a very good cause.’’

She completed her first walk on Tuesday and was aiming to complete between 42km and 63km, with the goal of raising $500, she said.

Spreading the distance out across a whole month would make it more realistic for people to complete, the Cancer Society said in a statement.

“Participating in a marathon can be physically demanding in one day but could be achievable over a month.

‘‘The funds raised will ensure that the 71 New Zealanders a day who are diagnosed with cancer will not go through it alone.’’