A brain damaged Tauranga man who uses running as therapy is seeking sponsorship to help him achieve his goal of completing five marathons in 12 months.
Andrew Weatherly hasn't been the same since a faulty exhaust resulted in him unwittingly inhaling carbon monoxide gas while commuting to work in Wellington seven years ago.
His life spiralled as a result as he lost his job in IT and received several speeding tickets.
“I was scared of everyone, my marriage broke up and I lost my home,” says Andrew.
But it was while living in a tent at the Mount Maunganui Beachside Holiday Park that he began running every other day.
“With the help of Community Mental Health and Mental Health Foundation, I have slowly put my life back together,” says Andrew. “In 2010 I ran the 25th Wellington Marathon - my first marathon.”
He ran the Tauranga City to Surf half marathon in 2012, and the Tauranga Half Marathon last month.
But for five marathons, he's going to need some financial help.
“It is $450 to $500 per marathon to enter,” he explains, “and with transport and travel expenses, it all adds up pretty quickly.”
He estimates it will cost over $11,200 to complete the five events, and that includes living and travelling in a van, which he intends to register for the project.
Andrew's aim, with the help of his Give a Little page ‘Andrew Runs 5 Marathons in 12 months for Mental Health', is to raise twice what he requires and donate the other half to Mental Health.
Running gives Andrew focus and motivation, and is helping him to integrate back into the community by connecting with like-minded people, he says.
“I would like to run as I'm recovering from mental illness and depression. I would like to make running my job for one year. I would be grateful for some financial support,” says Andrew.
The events to be completed are: Air NZ Queenstown International Marathon (November 2018), Tauranga International Marathon (October 2018), Rotorua Marathon (May 2018), ASB Auckland Marathon (October 2018) and the Wellington Marathon (June 2018).