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Three marathons in one day planned

Simon Ellis with a class from the Wairarapa Boxing Academy. PHOTO/EMMA BROWN

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After years of doing all he could to avoid exercise, Masterton man Simon Ellis set himself a marathon-sized task one year ago of completing three marathons in one day to raise money for charity.

And that day is fast approaching.

On Monday, March 30, Ellis will complete a 42.2km run, then bike another 42.2km, before heading into The Hubb gym in Masterton where he will complete a punishing 42.2km on a rowing machine.

“Three charities, three marathons, it has a nice ring to it,” Ellis said.

In 2017, Ellis moved with his family from England to Masterton with a plan to retire but said “doing nothing was not us,” so he decided to volunteer.

Starting off organising grants for the Masterton Foodbank, Ellis was then put in contact with Autism Wairarapa, followed by the Wairarapa Youth Charitable Trust which runs Wairarapa Boxing Academy.

He said grants were getting more difficult to get, and charities struggled to find a balance between income and expenditure.

So, 12 months ago he decided he wanted to do something “eye catching” to raise funds.

Feedback from friends on his plan ranged from “midlife crisis”, to “about time you did some exercise”, to “wow that’s kind of amazing”.

Ellis said doing any type of exercise was not on his list until he turned 50 last year and thought, “I really need to do something”.

“Exercise and I have always been distantly related; I’m meaning third cousins twice removed.”

He started with running 5km, then 8km, then Martinborough’s Round the Vines.

With the idea to raise money for charity, he thought maybe running a marathon could be next, but there were three charities so he wanted two more disciplines.

He had a bike and could use a rowing machine so the triple marathon event was formulated.

“Thankfully, I’m not associated with four charities otherwise I would struggle with what else,” he said with a laugh.

Ellis said he was least looking forward to rowing because it hurt the most.

He was fully aware of the difficulty of the task as he had “hit the wall” in training.

“But that’s when you contemplate the reasons why you are doing this and that’s what keeps you going.”

Ellis’ watch will measure his distance as well as monitor other aspects like his heart rate.

He hoped to start at 7.30am and finish in time to catch the end of a class at the Boxing Academy at 7.30pm.

“That gives me 12 hours.”

Ellis hopes his marathon of a day will capture the imagination of people who would be willing to donate money.

A Givealittle page has been set up and all donations will be split equally among the three charities.

To donate go online to givealittle.co.nz/fundraiser/3-charities-3-marathons-1-day

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