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Runner prepares for perilous winter race

When Tom Donoghue sets out to run the Wellington Half Marathon next week, he’ll be facing three-metre waves, sharks and a potential earthquake.

Well, those are his words.

Tom got a bit creative with his Heart Racer page to encourage friends and family to sponsor him as he raises money for the Heart Foundation.

“Until recently, I wouldn't be able to run at all unless there was a risk of a deli closing before I got there. Now I'm learning how to jog slowly while wearing oddly-coloured technical fabrics and I'm aiming to run further in one go than I ever have before.”

If that wasn’t a strong enough case, consider the location of this treacherous run, Tom reminds us.

“Sc**w you, this is Wellington, running is not as easy as you seem to think it is. The route follows the coast road which means running with three metre waves with sharks in them on one side, and a busy road of New Zealanders trying to drive cars on the other.”

Statistically-speaking it's guaranteed there will be an earthquake of some sort as well, Tom points out.  

“It's possible I won't come back alive. I simply ask you to avenge my death in some way. Why not hit the 'Make a donation' button’.”

Of course, there is a serious side to his fundraising goal. Tom, aged 38, works in the cardiology department of Wellington Hospital, assessing and treating people who have survived a heart attack or cardiac arrest.

He is passionate about supporting research that can help save lives in New Zealand.

“The Heart Foundation makes a massive contribution in research which is essential for understanding how to treat and prevent heart conditions. They also provide education resources and tools for patients and healthcare workers.”

Tom is part of the Cardiac Inherited Disease Group NZ (CIDG), which recently received a grant from the Heart Foundation to develop a website for families affected by inheritable sudden death syndromes.

“To continue doing all this, they need our support. By donating today, we can help them continue funding vital research, promoting heart healthy lifestyles and advancing cardiac care in New Zealand.” 

And if you’re still not sure about whether to sponsor Tom, we’ll leave you with his final words.

“Your donation will go directly into the Heart Foundation's bank and will make you feel warm, fuzzy, and even a little bit sexy. Especially if you tell all your friends you've done it. 

“Every dollar truly does make a difference. I know you, you've got a dollar. Hand it over and help save lives.”