Relay in memory of Samuel Gibson

By Alice Lock -
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Samuel Gibson, who suffered from brittle bone disease, died this year after falling out of his chair at the Air New Zealand Hawke's Bay Marathon.
Samuel Gibson, who suffered from brittle bone disease, died this year after falling out of his chair at the Air New Zealand Hawke's Bay Marathon.

Three runners have started to carry Samuel Gibson's legacy across the country as they run from Hawera to Havelock North.

Neil Wagstaff, Lisa Tamati and Haisley O'Leary have begun their ultra-marathon relay from the place Mr Gibson was born to where he died, in support of the Samuel Gibson Memorial Trust.

The trio made it to Whanganui last night and are making their way to Dannevirke today.

Mr Gibson, who suffered from brittle bone disease, died this year after falling out of his chair at the Air New Zealand Hawke's Bay Marathon while he was raising money for a boy with a similar condition.

Trustee Hamish McBeth said the relay initiative was developed to carry on doing what Mr Gibson had wanted to achieve.

"He had a vision to help people with disabilities so they could live their lives to the full and fulfil dreams."

Mr McBeth said they had a good day yesterday and were using Samuel's shoe as the baton.

"If anyone gets into trouble they just pass the baton on and keep going. Yesterday Neil had a moment so passed the baton on to Samuel's younger brother and he finished the leg."

Ms Tamati said she became close with Mr Gibson after her speaking tour in Napier.

"He sat in the front row and could not stop grinning or laughing at my stories. I went up to him at the end and wanted to know his story."

After they had been talking for a while he said to her, "if you ever want somebody rolling next to you while you're running, I am your man".

"I did not want to let what he believed in pass when he passed, his legacy could not die with him," said Ms Tamati.

Lisa Tamati, Neil Wagstaff and Haisley O'Leary are running from Hawera to Havelock in support of the Samuel Gibson Memorial Trust.
Lisa Tamati, Neil Wagstaff and Haisley O'Leary are running from Hawera to Havelock in support of the Samuel Gibson Memorial Trust.

"He was such a role model to me and he had such a positive attitude on life."

The run finishes at Havelock North Primary School tomorrow at 6pm and Mr McBeth encourages people to get down to the school and show some support.

"There will be a sausage sizzle, speeches and the celebrity runners will do some laps around the track with the kids. It should be a great occasion."

The week finishes with a fundraising dinner at Craggy Range on Friday night where the winner of New Zealand Mastermind, William Barnes, will hand over the $6000 cheque from the auction of the Mastermind chair.

To support the cause go to their Givealittle page, Hawera to Havelock. To follow their journey, like their Facebook page Hawera to Havelock Fundraiser.

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