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CatWalk inspires Marathon effort from Wellington Four

CatWalk inspires Marathon effort from Wellington Four

Take four busy working mums with twelve children aged three to eleven between them, challenge them to run a marathon and raise $20,000, and what you get is something quite special.

Merenia Gray (Dancer, Choreographer and Director of Kōwhiti); Rebecca Beatson (Barrister); Sophie Haslem (Group Investment Manager at New Zealand Post); and Sarah Catherall (feature writer for the Dominion Post) are having a very busy year. They have all agreed to run the New York Marathon in November to raise money for The New Zealand CatWalk Spinal Cord Injury Trust.

The women have been pounding the pavement all year training when they can between court cases, deadlines, board meetings, dance rehearsals, school drop-offs, parent teacher meetings, swimming lessons, rugby trainings, and school assemblies.

“I thrive on challenging goals, I needed to get back in shape after three pregnancies, and I wanted to support CatWalk – they are such a worthwhile charity,” Sophie says. “It all made sense in my head so I signed up. After my first 4km training run back in December I suddenly realised what I’d taken on. 42km is a very long way!”

Team-mate Rebecca, a CatWalk Trustee, says that finding time to train with three young children and work commitments is challenging but it’s for a great cause. The scientific research that the Trust supports is making advances and the results are encouraging.

Along with fellow Wellington team-members, Mike Renai and James Brow, the four women have added another challenge to their rigorous training schedules: organising an amazing Winter Ball to be held on Saturday 20 August at the new Whare Waka on Wellington’s waterfront. All proceeds from the night will go to their marathon charity, CatWalk.

“We could have just asked people to sponsor us for the run, but we decided that holding an event was more fun for everyone and it would also give CatWalk Trust much more publicity” Sarah says.

The Ball is going to be a great night out in the capital. Major sponsors include Grandin, U’luvka Vodka, Tuatara Brewery, San Pellegrino and the Whare Waka – so there will be plenty of cheer. Fuse Circus is performing along with Brazilian singer Alda Rezendez and her Quintet, Australasia’s top Hip Hop artist, Future Fame, as well as Wellingtonian muso DJ Hopepa – a fabulous entertainment line up. Hiremaster is generously decorating the Whare Waka space to fit the icy white winter theme and The Village Goldsmith has kindly donated a $6,500 diamond which one lucky punter will take away on the night.

“There will be more surprises throughout the evening as well” says Merenia. “Everyone has been so generous in helping us put together something quite special.”

Reminiscent of the Fools Balls of the late 80’s, The Mid Winter Ball carries on the tradition of blasting away the winter blues and making the most of the incredible talent we have in Wellington. By purchasing yourself and a friend a ticket you are supporting a really worthwhile charity. Tickets are available from catwalkwinterball@gmail.com.

Tickets are $135 per head and include vodka, bubbles, wine, beer, softs, canapés and a light supper plus loads of wonderful music and entertainment….and you never know you might win a diamond as well!


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