At age 99you could forgive Les Marsh for wanting to spend his birthday at home with his feet up and a nice cup of tea - but he had other ideas.
Instead, he decided to trek around the newly-reopened Mauao base track in honour of his late wife Hazel who completed the walk on her 90th birthday.
Hazel passed away shortly before her 91st birthday, six years ago.
"If Hazel can walk around the Mount at 90, then I can do it at 99," Marsh said.
Marsh trained for Mauao's base track by walking around the perimeter of Tauranga's Althorp Village, where he has lived for the last 10 years.
"It takes about an hour."
He said the other residents thought he was mad.
"I said, 'You don't have to be mad to do this, you know' - but it does help."
His keen sense of determination showed early just before we set off around the base track, with one of Marsh's sons wishing him luck.
"I don't need luck," Marsh replied. "I've got the Lord."
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Marsh's strong Christian faith has been with him since he dedicated his life to God at 12 year of age when he made a commitment to serve as a missionary. He later served with Hazel in Papua New Guinea's Sandaun Province for 13 years.
Our group set off from the Pilot Bay side of the base track at 10.30am - 13 family members of all generations keeping Marsh company.
His three sons - Lew, John and Tim - all joined him for the walk, with their wives Sharman, Bev and Sue, along with several of Marsh's grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
Marsh set the pace, and when passers-by watched us in our column, daughter-in-law
Sharman explained the reason for our walk.
"Happy Birthday," they called out.
"Thank you for sharing with us," one woman said.
While Marsh was a printer by trade for most of his working life, he's no stranger to the outdoors, having served in World War II, and lived on an outback bush station during his time in Papua New Guinea.
In his 80s, Marsh began training for the Rotorua Fletcher Marathon, which he completed six times over seven years.
His final marathon took place just a couple of weeks before his 89th birthday.
He has always been an outdoorsman and has encouraged his sons to be as well, eldest son Lew recalled.
"As kids, we used to wander down the creek and play there all day in the holidays," he said.
"When he was about 52, he went off to Papua New Guinea ... a lot of his life has been spent outdoors."
At the end of the walk, about two hours after we set off, Marsh is slightly breathless but bright-eyed.
He's proud he made it around Mauao without help - especially considering he has glaucoma in one eye.
"There are times when you need help, but there are times when you do better on your own, I think," he said.
"Praise God! Without Him, nothing is worthwhile."
So what's the plan for next year? I ask.
"Going to the top," he said.
He's not going to bother training, though.
"I'll buy a helicopter."