Ten years ago, Taupo man Phil Battersby was given a two years to live – a virus had attacked his heart.
Eight years on, with a donated heart helping him enjoy life, Phil is embracing a new challenge - walking 3 half marathons in 3 months in Taupo including the Mizuno Half Marathon on August 2nd and the Mizuno Off-Road Half Marathon on September 5th.
“Organ donation is a huge issue in New Zealand – one that Kiwis don’t always fully embrace. It can be a very difficult situation to deal with when you are losing or have lost a loved one, but it is important to remember the decision you make about organ donation can give a number of other people a chance at life.
“When I see people at Greenlane Hospital with lung problems gasping for breath, it reinforces why it is essential for every Kiwi to have a serious conversation with their families about their personal intentions for organ donation.
“While your organ donation decision is noted on your driver’s licence, your family may not be aware of your intentions or reasons, and can overrule this decision.
“My family and I will remain always grateful to the family who made the selfless decision to donate their loved ones organs.”
As Phil celebrates 8 years with his new heart, he also celebrates a new-found level of fitness.
“I’ve always been fairly active but I would say I’m now the fittest I’ve been in 15 years. I’ve taken up walking and have now participated in 3 Half Marathons in Taupo.”
“Walking is low impact and low aerobic and allows you to build up and maintain a higher level of fitness while enjoying the great scenery,” said Phil who credits maintaining a positive attitude and keeping in good health with helping him recover well from his transplant.
“Next month, I start the ’63.3 Challenge’ of three half marathons in three months - around Mt Tauhara on July 12, the Mizuno Half Marathon on August 2nd and the inaugural Mizuno Off-Road Half Marathon on September 5th,” said Phil.
Race Director of both Mizuno events Wayne Reardon congratulates Phil on his attitude and encourages other Kiwis to take motivation from it.
“The focus of our events is participation and encouraging people to be fit, active and healthy – it can be difficult to keep your motivation up during the winter months, however entering an event can be the perfect cure,” said Wayne. .
“If fitness isn’t enough of an incentive, then consider the fantastic range of spot prizes we have on offer including a 10 night South Pacific Cruise aboard P&O’s Pacific Sun for 2 people from Taupo of Travel Taupo.”
Entries for both Mizuno events are now open and online entries cost $45 for seniors (aged 20 and over) and $35 for juniors (aged 19 and under) – posted and other non-online entries for the on-road Half Marathon cost an additional $5. So save money and enter online!
Information about the ’63.3 Challenge’ is available at http://www.633.co.nz – entrants of all three half marathons will receive a baselayer long sleeved top to keep them warm and go in the draw to win a weekend for two at The Chateau.