Anna is a reporter at the Bay of Plenty Times

Half Marathon not just for humans

Add a comment
Wilson the dog will be running a half marathon for Aslan the dog who has a heart murmur. Photo/George Novak
Wilson the dog will be running a half marathon for Aslan the dog who has a heart murmur. Photo/George Novak

Among the Tauranga locals walking and running the Tauranga Half Marathon this Sunday, will be the pitter patter of paws.

The Tauranga Half Marathon has this year partnered with the Tauranga Heart Foundation, a cause close to the heart of a number of local competitors.

Wilson, a 1-year-old jack russell terrier, has entered on behalf of his buddy Aslan, a 4-year-old huntaway, who has had a grade four heart murmur since his birth.

"It's quite serious, he can't go for a run or on the beach," said Wilson's owner Matt Macmillan.

Mr Macmillan said Wilson was the fundraising mascot, and would be "doing it for Aslan".

Wilson the dog will be running a half marathon for Aslan the dog who has a heart murmur. Photo/George Novak
Wilson the dog will be running a half marathon for Aslan the dog who has a heart murmur. Photo/George Novak

Wilson had been training for the 7km race with runs around the boardwalk which circles the estuary, he said.

Top fundraisers Andrew and Christine Cooper decided to walk the 7km after Mr Cooper had open heart surgery to replace a heart valve in October. They had raised $743.75 by 4pm yesterday.

"We thought we'd do it for his recovery," Mrs Cooper said. "It's something positive for the family."

Christine and Andrew Cooper - Christine is running a half marathon to raise money for the heart foundation after Andrew had to have open heart surgery. Photo/George Novak
Christine and Andrew Cooper - Christine is running a half marathon to raise money for the heart foundation after Andrew had to have open heart surgery. Photo/George Novak

Mrs Cooper, who has almost finished her nursing training, said she listened to her husband's heart, and could tell it "wasn't right". He was a fit 49-year-old, but was "out of breath" and could not walk short distances.

Mr Cooper said the open heart surgery had given him a "second chance in life" so he "might as well grab it".

The couple's 11-year-old triplets were also participating in the 7km walk to help with Mr Cooper's recovery and to fundraise for the heart foundation.

Heart health advocate Francesca Rae said the Heart Foundation's partnership with the Tauranga Half Marathon was still "relatively new" but the response had been "really awesome".

Ms Rae said there would be "something for everyone" at the event, with a half marathon and also a 1.6km, 7km and 14km walk or run.

Online and postal entries will close at 5pm today, but information for later registration is available online.

- Bay of Plenty Times

Get the news delivered straight to your inbox

Receive the day’s news, sport and entertainment in our daily email newsletter

SIGN UP NOW

Have your say

1200 characters left

By and large our readers' comments are respectful and courteous. We're sure you'll fit in well.
View commenting guidelines.

© Copyright 2016, NZME. Publishing Limited

Assembled by: (static) on production bpcf04 at 11 Dec 2016 05:48:09 Processing Time: 337ms