Day 56 – Drury to Auckl and

What a day, special in soooo many ways. Firstly I ran for a very special lady by the name of Thonia Hartdegen. Thonia had 2 strokes exactly 1 year ago today. I had a letter from her daughter Jessica who had heard of our run from a friend. I also got to meet Thonia, Shane and Jessica tonight, they came over which was awesome. If you could see Thonia’s smile and how far she has come this year you would be so impressed. The love of her family just pops out at you. I was also super stoked when Thonia told me she would join me to walk in the last 100m with me on my run. That will be something amazing. Thank you so much for taking time to come meet and share so much. I know you are with me all the way and I’ll see you in 11 days.  xxx
Last night we stayed at the Manukau Top 10 Campground and today I had Sam Lockwood come run with me. Sam’s family has been a huge part of Running NZ – I have had 4 members of their family run with me in the last 2 weeks. Huge thanks to you all for getting me here.
The other big thing today was that I was making it to Auckl and. Oh yeah I have finally made the big smoke. I had seen the Skytower from Bombay yesterday but it was right there today. I had been so close a few times and if only I had taken the straight route I would have been here days ago, but where is the fun in that.
We only 38km to run today and had a bit of time which was great, so we popped in to say hi to one of my first sponsors FUELME. Andrew had said yes to helping me out right back when I had nothing to show him and almost no-one else backing me. I can’t thank him enough for believing in me. Anyone who needs gear/gels etc go and check them out in Onehunga. Andrew will sort you out with the best stuff.
I must say the city folk weren’t the best at waving but I had passed this guy on a bike and he then kept popping up along the road. With a smile on and waving back I thought what a nice guy to then run around the next corner to see him with a group of people out with a sign. Think his name was Tim, and a huge thank you to everyone there. You made me so happy, I haven’t had a sign in a while and Ioved meeting you all.
As the Skytower got bigger my excitement grew. I knew that this section and day was almost over and we are now just 10 running days away from the end. I was running and finishing at our sponsor Vodafone’s head office down on the Waterfront. I ran up and saw no-one but as I climbed the steps there was a huge group of people cheering us in. Such an awesome feeling when this happens. Can’t thank everyone at Vodafone enough for helping us out with everything we needed to help us keep in touch with everyone while we have been on the road. The whole Vodafone team have been awesome and I look forward to partying with you all at the end.
This is Graham, he is the man behind helping us out, the only one who would listen to my bro Smithzz who also works for Vodas, in getting behind this crazy mission of Running NZ. Thank you so much G for just being someone who wants to help out a normal bloke with nothing to show for what he is asking you to do. Best wishes for your wedding next week. Sorry to the wife to be but I look forward to seeing you at the end.
As I was giving a little talk I looked over to see my cuz Kristy. She works for The “ROCK FM” radio station here in Auckl and. They have been helping us so much at getting the word out. We have done a few interviews and I send out a huge thank you to all their listeners who are tooting and waving us along. Then I was again surpised as my other cuz Brad was there too. Haven’t seen him in about 10 years and can’t thank you enough for coming down bro. Great to have family there.
Here is Thonia, Shane and Jessica when they came over to meet up this evening. Can’t wait to see you in November.
We headed out and had dinner with Rick’s mum and friends and my super friend Mitch. Great to catch up Mitch and meet Rick mates. xx
We are off to the Cape tomorrow to then start the final run home. We have 10 days and 450km to do. I am so excited to be this close. Can’t wait for the last day as I am looking forward to seeing everyone again.
Thank you all so much for everything.
Today’s Route – Zoom out to see where I ran…

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