When World Vision emailed Julia Haythornthwaite asking her to run the Auckland Marathon in November to raise funds she deleted the email.
She successfully completed the Auckland half marathon last year but the full length seemed too daunting to the 40-year-old.
"To be completely frank, running a full marathon was not in my life plans.
"The idea of running 42.2 kilometres totally scares me," she says.
Julia is not a natural born runner.
"I always felt embarrassed in school PE lessons because I was the slowest kid in the class. I hated running," the medical receptionist says.
But the idea stuck with her and she soon started wondering if she could actually run the distance.
Julia has supported World Vision's efforts to get people out of poverty for the last 20 years, so she decided to continue by entering the marathon and seeing if she could actually enjoy herself at the same time.
Now the Stanmore Bay resident is pounding the streets around Whangaparaoa and Orewa for three hours daily and loving it.
She says the end goal of raising $2000 or more for World Vision keeps her going.
"I feel compelled to share what I have with people who are oppressed.
"The reality is I have so much and sometimes you might not think so, but if you have got a roof over your head and you have food in your pantry you have got a lot more than a lot of other people in the world."
Julia is also finding that running applies to life too.
"No matter what the problem is the solution is the same - keep going," she says.
The Auckland Marathon is on November 3. To help her reach her $2000 goal visit fundraiseonline.co.nz/JuliaHaythornthwaite.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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