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Cancer fight goes round the clock

SIMON MAUDE
Last updated 05:00 14/03/2014
Gym Bunnies

HIGH HOPS: The Gym Bunnies hope to beat last years $6500 Relay for Life effort.

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A North Shore gym group is going another round against cancer, taking part in their second Relay for Life event.

On March 29 the Gym Bunnies will walk and run for 18 hours, helping raise money for cancer awareness and treatment.

Last year the group raised more than $6500.

This year the now 14-strong squad hopes to better that relaying around the AUT Millennium Stadium in Mairangi Bay.

Group leader Lisa Schierhout says she's seen the far-reaching affects of cancer on her family and friends.

"We've had two really close friends pass way and we know someone who is fighting cancer right now.

"One in three New Zealanders will be affected by cancer in their lifetime. I'm inspired by the work that Cancer Society do, so I wanted to raise money for them as part of my participation in the relay," she says.

Some of the Gym Bunnies are members of Configure Express Albany and they are lucky to have two personal trainers as team members.

Everyone's taking their own approach to training for the event, but the presence of the trainers eggs them on, Ms Schierhout says.

The seasoned fundraiser, who ran the 2013 Auckland half-marathon, aims to complete 125 laps, or 50 kilometres of the relay.

Her 11-year-old daughter Emma is aiming for 50 laps.

Grocery firms Nosh and Gilmours have donated cash and provided energy food supplies to keep the bunnies on the hop, but tiredness is still a big hurdle, Ms Schierhout says.

"At three in the morning all you want to do is sleep."

To keep the relay racers alert and entertained, the organisers host an early morning starting-line quiz.

Racers get asked a question when they pass the start/finish line, they get the answer when they next cross it, she says.

Go to aucklandnorth. everydayhero. com/nz/gym-bunnies to donate.

■ Go to relayforlife.org.nz/event/event?EventID=187 for event details

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