Retirement village residents tackling Cape Egmont Half Marathon


New Plymouth septuagenarians Steve Thorstensen, Margaret Farmer, Corinne Weir, Jenny Gudsell, and Ken Davies clock up some kilometres for the Cape Egmont virtual Half Marathon with organiser Nicky Smith.

Andy Jackson

New Plymouth septuagenarians Steve Thorstensen, Margaret Farmer, Corinne Weir, Jenny Gudsell, and Ken Davies clock up some kilometres for the Cape Egmont virtual Half Marathon with organiser Nicky Smith.

Ken Davies never expected he’d be doing a half-marathon in his 70s with 11 of his retirement village neighbours – but he is.

It’s the Cape Egmont Half Marathon, just not quite as you may know it. This year it’s virtual.

Instead of a one-day race, because of Covid-19 participants can complete the distance wherever and whenever they want, as long as it’s done by the end of the month.

That’s exactly what Davies and others at Manadon Masonic Village in Spotswood are doing.

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“I think it’s great,” he said.

Davies and Steve Thorenstensen have been joined by Corinne Wair, Margaret Farmer, Jenny Gudsell, and others on their mission to clock up the kilometres.

Twelve residents from the retirement village have been taking part in the marathon.

Andy Jackson

Twelve residents from the retirement village have been taking part in the marathon.

While the technological side of documenting distances through phone apps and watches may be a little difficult for some of Davies’ friends, he’s been helping them out.

Organiser Nicky Smith said although virtual wasn’t like the real thing, it had allowed people who couldn’t usually do the marathon to join in.

Smith said three people from England signed up, four from Australia and one third of all participants were from outside Taranaki.

Plus, people such as the village residents could take part as a group.

“It absolutely warmed my heart,” Smith said. “It almost made me cry.”

People can still enter the virtual marathon and have until July 31 to complete it.

“If these guys can do it, anyone can.”