Couple take extra steps for MS cause

By Doug Laing

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When Yvonne Marshall was looking for ideas to raise funds for Multiple Sclerosis Hawke's Bay, she found just the answer from husband Ken, who really does know how to talk the walk.

An adherent of the weekly twilight stroll, he nominated a jaunt up and down the streets and steps of Mataruahou, Napier Hill.

That led to tonight's Multiple Steps, a 5km walk and climb which takes in eight sets of steps on the hill.

Starting at 6pm on the corner of Herschell and Byron Streets, the first challenge is the Brewster Steps, from Brewster St to Onslow Rd - or 232 steps as Ken Marshall records in his own athletic way, while waiting for the arrival of a Hawke's Bay Today photographer. It's the first time he'd counted, but then steps weren't made for counting.

That's Yvonne's job - counting the people and collecting the $10 entry fees, and she's happy to leave the rest to Ken, not that resting is something he does often.

He runs and walks the streets and steps at least once every week, making a Tuesday night routine of something he says he would never have tried back in Scotland from where the couple emigrated 22 years ago.

"It would be too cold.

"It's a challenge," he said, heading back up Brewster again. "I can get around the route in about 50 minutes."

He also tackles some of the more serious stuff around town, and was third in his age group for the half-marathon in Napier on Sunday.

He doesn't expect anything like the 700 who took part then, but is hoping for at least 60-70, and enough interest to make it an annual event.

Apart from the Brewster Steps, and the calculation of how long it might take to complete the Multiple Steps, he wasn't throwing too many tips around, saying: "We want to keep it as a bit of a surprise".

But everyone should get a good run for their money. There's "lots of great prizes" and nibbles at the finish line, The Brazen Head.

- HAWKES BAY TODAY

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