A marathon cause close to his heart

While his workmates are gearing up to conquer the maunga (mountain) as part of the ever-popular Titirangi/Kaiti Hill Everest Challenge, Tony Coombe will be taking on the Berlin Marathon and raising money for the New Zealand Heart Foundation tomorrow.
Tony Coombe has run six marathons — four Auckland marathons, the Rotorua marathon and one in Hawke’s Bay earlier this year.
He has probably been told it before but Gisborne’s Tony Coombe bears quite a resemblance to celebrity chef Gordon Ramsay, who coincidentally has also racked up plenty of marathons. Tony is in Germany for the 45th running of the Berlin Marathon, and raising money for the New Zealand Heart Foundation.
Pictures supplied

Berlin is about to be ticked off the bucket list for a Gisborne marathon runner.

Tony Coombe works as the commercial consultant for the Eastland Community Trust and Activate Tairawhiti.

While his workmates are gearing up to conquer the maunga (mountain) as part of the ever-popular Titirangi/Kaiti Hill Everest Challenge, Tony will be taking on the Berlin Marathon and raising money for the New Zealand Heart Foundation tomorrow.

“Running a race with 45,000 other people is going to be fantastic,” he said.

“I am excited but nervous. There is nothing like setting a goal for yourself where you are physically challenged to achieve it.”

Tony has run six marathons — four Auckland marathons, the Rotorua marathon and one in Hawke’s Bay earlier this year.

This will be his first international race.

“I started running when the kids were young because you can fit it around your life,” he said.

“When they are in bed, off you go. It is something you can do without disturbing the family.

“I ran my first marathon seven years ago and I have always wanted to compete in an international one.

“My wife Helen said to do it before I got ‘too old’ and she speaks German, so Berlin it is.”

Most marathons give competitors the option of registering with a selection of vetted charities when they sign up.

Tony chose the Heart Foundation and has so far raised $1700 of his $2000 goal via his Everydayhero account.

Heart disease is the country’s biggest killer, the cause of 33 percent of deaths annually — one every 90 minutes.

About 186,000 people across the country are living with heart disease, something Tony is all too aware of.

“The Heart Foundation is special to me. My father and father in-law both suffered from heart disease and running for a charity gives you an opportunity to do some good from all the training, and give back.”

“All the training” is putting it lightly.

Tony has run rain, hail or shine to the tune of 1900 kilometres in pursuit of his Berlin goal. He has been a familiar morning sight along the city boardwalk.

“It is going to be amazing when I cross the finish line through the Brandenburg Gate. It is quite an emotional moment because for the past 10 or eight kilometres you are so exhausted.

“Every part of you is looking to rest at that point and you really have to rely on your top two inches to get you through.”

Running for a cause helps.

“Thank you to everyone who has donated money so far,” he said.

“It is going to an extremely worthy cause and I am very grateful. I cannot wait to get out there, run the race and enjoy a stein of beer with my wife afterwards.”

To donate to Tony’s cause, go to the everyday hero NZ website and type in “Berlin beckons” to search.

Berlin is about to be ticked off the bucket list for a Gisborne marathon runner.

Tony Coombe works as the commercial consultant for the Eastland Community Trust and Activate Tairawhiti.

While his workmates are gearing up to conquer the maunga (mountain) as part of the ever-popular Titirangi/Kaiti Hill Everest Challenge, Tony will be taking on the Berlin Marathon and raising money for the New Zealand Heart Foundation tomorrow.

“Running a race with 45,000 other people is going to be fantastic,” he said.

“I am excited but nervous. There is nothing like setting a goal for yourself where you are physically challenged to achieve it.”

Tony has run six marathons — four Auckland marathons, the Rotorua marathon and one in Hawke’s Bay earlier this year.

This will be his first international race.

“I started running when the kids were young because you can fit it around your life,” he said.

“When they are in bed, off you go. It is something you can do without disturbing the family.

“I ran my first marathon seven years ago and I have always wanted to compete in an international one.

“My wife Helen said to do it before I got ‘too old’ and she speaks German, so Berlin it is.”

Most marathons give competitors the option of registering with a selection of vetted charities when they sign up.

Tony chose the Heart Foundation and has so far raised $1700 of his $2000 goal via his Everydayhero account.

Heart disease is the country’s biggest killer, the cause of 33 percent of deaths annually — one every 90 minutes.

About 186,000 people across the country are living with heart disease, something Tony is all too aware of.

“The Heart Foundation is special to me. My father and father in-law both suffered from heart disease and running for a charity gives you an opportunity to do some good from all the training, and give back.”

“All the training” is putting it lightly.

Tony has run rain, hail or shine to the tune of 1900 kilometres in pursuit of his Berlin goal. He has been a familiar morning sight along the city boardwalk.

“It is going to be amazing when I cross the finish line through the Brandenburg Gate. It is quite an emotional moment because for the past 10 or eight kilometres you are so exhausted.

“Every part of you is looking to rest at that point and you really have to rely on your top two inches to get you through.”

Running for a cause helps.

“Thank you to everyone who has donated money so far,” he said.

“It is going to an extremely worthy cause and I am very grateful. I cannot wait to get out there, run the race and enjoy a stein of beer with my wife afterwards.”

To donate to Tony’s cause, go to the everyday hero NZ website and type in “Berlin beckons” to search.

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