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'EIT Tutor plans to run the length of country for worthy cause'

Contributor:
Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

EIT Tutor Andrew McCrory is not crazy - he simply plans to spend a good chunk of his Christmas holidays running the length of the country from Cape Reinga to the Bluff to raise funds for children with Cerebral Palsy.

While many Kiwis will be taking a much-needed end-of-year break, Andrew will run on average fifty kilometres per day for 40 days, including Christmas Day and New Year’s Day.

Andrew, who was in the New Zealand Army for 14 years, is set to begin his epic trek on December 5 this year and hopes to raise more than $20,000 for Kiwi kids with Cerebral Palsy to undergo expensive SDR (selective dorsal rhizotomy) surgery in the United States.

Andrew, 47, is a Services Pathway Tutor and Project Leader at EIT, teaching a programme that prepares students for a career in the Police or the Defence Force.

Given the magnitude of the task he is undertaking, it is fair to ask if Andrew has a loved one living with Cerebral Palsy. The answer is no, he simply wants to help.

"In early 2017 I ruptured a disc in my back that required surgery and eventually a spinal fusion. While awaiting surgery, I was at home on Facebook when I saw this family was raising money for their daughter Liv to get surgery in America."

"I did not know her, but I just thought it was a good cause that I could get behind while I was stuck at home. I got all the CrossFit gyms together in Hawke's Bay and we raised a heap of money for Liv," says Andrew. "

That money helped pay for Liv to undergo the $150,000 surgery. She is now 15 years old and greatly improved.

For Andrew, a father of two adult children, it was the start of fundraising journey that has seen him take up running ultra-marathons with every cent going to Kiwi kids requiring SDR surgery.

Andrew’s first challenge was the Blue Lake 24hr Challenge in Rotorua in 2019, with the suggestion coming from his son that he raise money for "kids like Liv." Liv’s mum gave him the names of three other children, Ethan, Reid and Zach and he raised money for them by running his first ever 115.5km at the Blue Lake.

Since then Andrew has run four ultra-marathons, the longest being 160km. However, this challenge will be Andrew’s biggest, and he will be doing it the tough way, with only a self-contained campervan driven by his wife Kathleen for support.

"We will be reaching out to friends to stay along the way but will also be camping quite a bit."

As for his diet, he plans to eat as normally as possible, but will take in creamed rice, energy gels and a few Cookie Time Bumper Bars while he is running.

Andrew is also aware of the impact any COVID-19 Alert Level changes could have on his run, so is drawing up a Plan B in case of any disruptions.

Accepting that he will have some tough moments, Andrew says he will just focus on why he is doing it.

"I realise that there will be points where I do hit the wall and I just think why I'm doing it. And that's what gets me through These kids depend on me to get as much money as I can. So I just can't stop."

Glen Harkness, EIT’s Executive Director, Strategic Projects and Partnerships, says EIT is proud to be supporting Andrew in this worthy cause.

"This is a tremendous effort by Andrew and EIT is happy to support him as he raises much needed funds for these children in need."

Joining EIT in supporting Andrew are a number of Hawke’s Bay business. They are Skybright Health (Electrolytes), Wrightsock NZ (Running socks), Shoe Clinic Napier (Running shoes), NCubed Nutrition (Dietitian), Running Hot (Run Coaching), Rivers to Ranges (Running gear and torches), Boyce Podiatry (Fine tuning of feet and shoes) and Largo Sport (Massage).

For more information about Andrew’s fundraiser, follow him on Instagram: andrew.mccrory.ultra.runner or Facebook: Running Aotearoa For SDR. If you would like to donate to Andrew’s cause, you can go to the Give a Little page Running Aotearoa for kids with Cerebral Palsy. (https://givealittle.co.nz/cause/running-aotearoa-for-kids-with-cerbral-palsy)

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