Running from the heart

Sarah Baker will be running alongside her dad, Nigel, in her first half marathon to raise funds for the New Zealand Heart Foundation.

The thought of running a half marathon for the first time is enough to scare most normal people – even if just a tiny bit.

It’s often a combination of nerves, excitement and perhaps a little bit of self doubt.

Those 21.1 kilometres can seem endless and overwhelming.

But it all becomes a whole lot easier when there’s a good cause – and a whole lot of support – behind it.

On October 28, Sarah Baker will take on her first ever half marathon in the name of raising money for the New Zealand Heart Foundation.

In 2016, her dad, a keen runner, suffered a heart attack part way through the Kerikeri Marathon and survived.

He underwent a double bypass and eventually got back to pounding the pavement – but has decided this race will be his last official event before passing the baton to Sarah.

“Now he’s realised ‘maybe running is not the best thing for me anymore’. So he’s cutting back on it a bit, and I think he’s going to do one last run – which will be this one with me, and then he’ll go back to running for fitness and not pushing himself too hard. So I’ll do it, so he doesn’t have to!”

After Sarah decided to run in the ASB Auckland Marathon to carry on her dad’s legacy, she decided fundraising for the Heart Foundation was a perfect fit. “I thought, ‘Why not?’ – I may as well do it for something, and the Heart Foundation means something to me now’.”

Sarah has so far raised around $250 for the charity – “but ideally I’d like to raise over a grand” – a goal she’ll hopefully achieve by rallying co-workers with promises of baked goods.

With race day just weeks away, she’s got a goal time in mind – one her dad pushes her to achieve on their training runs.

“It’s our little thing we have together. It’s quite nice and I’m pretty lucky to have an awesome dad like him.”

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