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Knoxies run for Motor Neurone Disease

Wednesday 13 November 2019 11:41am

A group of Knox College members and alumni put on their sneakers and took part in the Dunedin Marathon to raise awareness and fundraise for Motor Neurone Disease (MND) NZ.

Running for Ruffy image
Jimmy and Jessica Matangi at the Dunedin Marathon, sporting the message "Running for Ruffy". Photo: Supplied.

Knoxies Running for Motor Neurone Disease was a group of 11 current and former college members who raised about $2,200 for MND through running different sections of the marathon as well as hosting a breakfast and sausage sizzle.

MND supports people living with motor neurone disease, their families, carers and the health professionals who work with them. It provides support, advocacy, up-to-date information, develops awareness and understanding of MND, and encourage research.

Student organiser Sara-Jay (Jimmy) Matangi says after seeing first-hand how individuals and their families are affected by the disease she decided to suggest it as the chosen charity for the runners to fundraise for.

“My dad’s best friend was diagnosed this year and we also lost a family friend,” Jimmy says.

The cause was a good one to give to because she held it close to her heart, she says. Jimmy ran the 10km race, while others did the 5km, the 10km, the half marathon and marathon.

“I think what was most surprising was the number of people who had loved ones or close people affected by the disease. There was a lot of acknowledgement of how it affected individuals and the wider community.”

“I wouldn’t say it was a struggle but I didn’t feel completely prepared. On the day I just reminded myself why I was there and what I was doing it for.”

The students mostly prepared individually for the race but kept each other in the loop about their training.

While Jimmy describes herself as an active person, she says running isn’t exactly her “forte”.

“I wouldn’t say it was a struggle but I didn’t feel completely prepared. On the day I just reminded myself why I was there and what I was doing it for.”

She also had her younger sister Jessica come down to run with her and support the cause.

Overall, it was a positive outcome for the group who hit their fundraising target.

Marathon medalists image
Knoxies James Matthews, Grace Herdman, Jimmy Matangi, Nick Brown, Paddy O’Brien, Blair Donaldson, Grace Hoskins and Erin Roxburgh after completing the marathon. Photo: Supplied.