Olympic equestrian Mark Todd and 19 other New Zealanders will run the New York Marathon to raise money for spinal cord injury victims. This November, the 20 New Zealand athletes will run the marathon as part of a team to support the CatWalk Spinal Cord Injury Trust of New Zealand. Catriona Williams, the quadriplegic founder of the CatWalk trust, will join the NZ team in the marathon on a hand-cycle. Williams is one of only a few people who have attempted to complete the marathon using the assistive device, according to a Media People NZ press release.
Williams founded CatWalk after suffering a spinal cord injury in a horse riding accident. The CatWalk Web site said that the group had initially planned to generate money to support Williams herself, but it soon grew much larger than she imagined. The site said, ‘After exploring several options, the group agreed that supporting researchers in the very realistic bid for a cure for Spinal Cord Injuries (SCI) would be CatWalk’s aim, following along the lines of the Christopher and Dana Reeve Foundation.’
Further, the ‘CatWalk Trust’s goal is to push the boundaries and pace of scientific research to enable spinal cord injury victims to walk again,’ according to the Media People press release. Williams, Todd, and their team will gather sponsorships and donations throughout the year until the marathon in November. All the funds raised by the CatWalk team will go to spinal cord injury research. The government of New Zealand provides no funding for SCI research, according to the press release.
We wish the CatWalk team the best of luck in completing the marathon and in gathering funding for the advancement of research on the road to a cure for spinal cord injuries and paralysis victims.
Catwalk staff. (June 18, 2008) ‘CatWalk Patron Mark Todd selected for Olympics.’ Retrieved on February 2, 2010 from the CatWalk Web site: http://catwalk.co.nz/news/catwalk-patron-mark-todd-selected-olympics?tex…
Hopkin, Cath. (January, 2010) ‘Getting people out of wheelchairs and back on their feet becomes a marathon effort for Mark Todd.’ Retrieved on February 2, 2010 from the Media People NZ Web site: http://www.mediapeople.co.nz/releases/article.php?id=29759
New York City Marathon. (February 2, 2010) ‘The ING New York City Marathon Nov. 7, 2010.’ Retrieved on February 2, 2010 from the NYC Marathon Web site:http://www.nycmarathon.org/
NZPA staff. (February 2, 2010) ‘Todd running in New York for a cause.’ Retrieved on February 2, 2010 from the TVNZ Web site: http://tvnz.co.nz/othersports-news/todd-running-in-new-york-cause-3347426