65-year-old's 65k run

Bernie Portenski was recovering with hot soup and beer in the late afternoon sun after running 65km on her 65th birthday to raise money for charity yesterday.

Not that the Wellington marathon runner needed much of wind-down: "I can't believe how not knackered I am. It was absolutely fine. We gunned it."

Portenski ran from her Miramar home to Eastbourne and back again, with a stop for lunch on the way, to raise money for the Wellington branch of Parkinson's NZ.

Her 61-year-old brother Sean, who lives on the West Coast, has Parkinson's, and her partner Peter's father had it for 14 years, so it's a cause close to her heart.

"It's not about my birthday celebration, it's about the Parkinson's cause - we were just overwhelmed with the generosity today. People were stopping and getting out of their cars and coming over and giving us money."

Supported by a pack of runners along the route, and a support crew in a campervan, the group estimated it had raised $600 in bucket donations and the Give A Little website had pulled in $2245 by yesterday afternoon.

The only spanner in the works was running into a northerly on the way out and a southerly on the way back, but the team still made the run in a better-than-expected six hours and 53 minutes.

"I actually reckon I did better than I did on my 60km run at 60," Portenski said. "There was no walking at all, we ran the whole way."

The Dominion Post