Marathon effort in memory of Kiwi mountain biker

Steve McIntyre is on a mission. On July 01, 2018 he will walk the Wellington half marathon raising funds for the Heart Foundation.

Steve McIntyre

He is taking on this marathon effort in memory of freeride mountain biker Kelly McGarry, who suffered a cardiac arrest and died, aged 33.

McGarry attracted worldwide attention for his silver-medal-winning, 22-metre back flip over a Utah canyon at the Red Bull Rampage in 2013. Go Pro footage of the breath-taking jump has attracted more than 40 million online views, making it one of the world’s most-watched videos. 

Closer to home, McIntyre says it was the mountain biker’s attitude that stood out to him, even as a 17-year-old apprentice in his Nelson/Marlborough Institute of Technology (NMIT) carpentry class in 2002.  

“Kelly was larger than life, he just had this energy and made everything fun. If Kelly was pouring concrete for example, he wouldn’t just wheel the wheelbarrow, he would make it dance and do tricks with it,” says McIntyre.

As an apprentice, McGarry’s dream was to ride his bike on the international circuit.

“He worked for Coman Construction here in Nelson, completed his building apprenticeship with them, then put down the hammer, picked up his bike and off he went.” 

McIntyre was so moved by the premature death of his young, former student in 2016, he and McGarry’s dad Nick created the Dream-Believe-Be award for apprentices. The unique trophy is a piece of wood with a bike crank and a vial of dirt from the Utah Desert.

Steve McIntyre will take on the Wellington half marathon

The Wellington event will be the third half marathon McIntyre has completed in the last year with fellow NMIT tutor Kevin Edgar, but it’s the first time he has fundraised.

“It is a great challenge but it is doable. It is certainly on the edge for me, and I think for a lot of people it takes you right to the edge of where you can actually get to. You feel like a ‘super athlete’ at the end of it.”

McIntyre is also pleased with the response to his fundraising quest so far, but would like more community support to raise as much money as possible for heart research.

“Kelly’s former employer Coman Construction, and a few other local building companies, have made generous donations. It has gone up quite rapidly, I am just in the process of knocking on a few more doors.”

You can support McIntyre’s fundraising campaign for heart research on his everyday hero page.

Or, if you are taking part in the Gazley Volkswagen Wellington Marathon, you can also join the Heart Racer fundraising team on everyday hero

Visit Steve's fundraising page