A Levin woman looking to conquer her first marathon this weekend is using her personal challenge as a chance to raise money for charity close to her heart.
Former Waiopehu College student Casey Allum, 20, will be attempting the distance of 42.2km for the first time at the Rotorua Marathon on Saturday.
A few days ago Allum had raised almost $2000 for her chosen charity - Lifeline - an appeal resonating with an online audience, as she was currently the second-highest earner entered for the marathon.
"I decided to start fundraising for mental health following multiple young people from my hometown taking their own lives," she said.
"Some of these people I knew and was friends with. I wanted to do something about it, but didn't really know what. I decided that the best thing I could do was raise awareness and funds, and this led to me choosing to run for Lifeline."
"Since I decided to fundraise, thinking about the reason I'm fundraising and all the people who have donated makes me motivated to train harder."
Many people who had pledged money online were family and friends, donating between $20 and $100.
Organisers said many runners like Allum were using their marathon journey as a chance to raise awareness and money for charity.
Allum, in her third year of a Law and Commerce degree at Victoria University, has run smaller events in the past, including two half-marathons, but some sound advice was close at hand.
Her parents Chris and Deb Allum will be with her at the start line and are both attempting their 15th marathon, which means they have now joined what was called a "Survivors Club".
In the 55th running of the Rotorua Marathon, 564 people are in the Survivors club, although 45 members had died since its inception.
The original plan was to reach the milestone at the same time their daughter was attempting her first marathon, then Casey decided to use the challenge as a way to raise funds for Lifelife.
Casey's fundraising page link is rotoruamarathon2019.everydayhero.com/nz/casey-rotorua-marathon-lifeline-fundraising