In May last year Matt Toole completed the Cigna 10km event at the Air New Zealand Hawke's Bay International Marathon with a kidney operating at just 10 per cent.

This year 28-year-old Toole is back, this time with a transplanted kidney to help him on his way to what he hopes is a better finish-line experience for his mum Pat.

In 2017 he took on the event just six weeks before having transplant surgery. The 10 per cent function in his kidney meant he was a little ''worse for wear'' when he crossed the line.

"The main thing for me this time round is my mum and leaving her with a slightly better memory of this event.


"She was at the finish line last year and I must admit, it was probably a tough watch. I remember being absolutely drained and white as a ghost as I crossed the line, so I think it will be good for her to see my recovery is going really well, and I'll be coming over the line in a healthier state.

"But I am doing it for myself as well. This time, with a proper kidney, I'll be looking forward to giving it a good crack. My girlfriend is going to run with me, so it will be great to have some company on the course."

Just days after the 2017 event, Toole got the call from his surgeon to advise that his surgery was confirmed for July.

"I got the call on May 17, they said they had scheduled the kidney transplant operation in early July, suddenly there I was only six weeks out from surgery.

"It has been a slow recovery since and I'm getting back on my feet, getting back to work, keeping training, living life as best as I can with the added bonus of feeling a lot better."

"Initially I couldn't do a lot. They push you out of bed after two days, I remember it was really painful. Just going 100 metres down the hallway was a win one day and a week later I was up to 500 metres and then six weeks after surgery I went for my first jog.

"My donor was my brother-in-law Ian. Everything went really well, I am so grateful to him for his role in all of this, thanks to him I can get back on with my life."

Toole will be on the start line at the Air New Zealand Hawke's Bay International Marathon on May 12, taking part alongside thousands of others across the event's four race options, from the Kids Run, Cigna 10km, New Zealand Sotheby's International Realty Half Marathon and the full Air New Zealand Marathon.


The event courses are flat, easy running. They offer a mix of terrain, with a combination of on-road, bike trails and vineyards. The courses take in the highlights of the Hawke's Bay region which include the waterfront in Napier, Hawke's Bay cycle trails and country roads. The last 10km of the courses run through private vineyards. All events finish in Sileni Estates Winery.

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