More than 80 residents showed up at the Panmure Lagoon to walk the loop around the basin this morning as part of Ryman Healthcare’s Walking for Wellness initative.
While the skies were grey and the rain threatened, nothing could dampen the high spirits and excitement amongst the nine Auckland Ryman villages represented.
The inter-village walk was the fourth such walk organised as part of the health and wellbeing initiative, where residents have been training over winter to complete a 60km virtual walk of Abel Tasman park using the Virtual Mission app during the month of October.
From Bert Sutcliffe in Birkenhead and William Sanders in Devonport in the north, to Possum Bourne in Pukekohe in the south, then from out west with Henderson’s Miriam Corban and to the east with Botany’s Bruce McLaren, not forgetting Logan Campbell, Murray Halberg, Edmund Hillary, and Grace Joel in the middle, the turnout was impressive.
Possum Bourne brought the party atmosphere with their two vanloads of residents!
A good proportion of the walkers had already completed the mission, but joined in the fun because they love walking so much.
Ian and Sandra Dalton, from Logan Campbell in Greenlane, just recently completed the real Abel Tasman walk but were keen to meet for the Panmure walk.
“We’ve walked up Mt Wellington before but we’ve never actually walked around the basin so that’s why we wanted to come today,” said Ian.
Longtime walker Russell Parrish, 95, walked the loop at a steady pace.
Fellow Logan Campbell resident Russell Parrish, who at 95 was the oldest resident taking part, said walking, running and fitness had been a huge part of his life.
While he hadn’t actually signed up for the virtual mission, he just loved walking at any opportunity.
“I ran the Round the Bays when I was 90 and I have been going to the YMCA gym for 52 years,” he said.
Russell said he had never been one for competitive sports growing up, but in his 40s when setting up his own business he had worked a second job re-treading tyres at night. This had slimmed him down and got him fit, and he decided to join the gym and start jogging to maintain it.
“It’s not a burden or a challenge to me at all, I’ve done it all my life. I can still manage walking up to 10km.”
While Russell set a steady pace at the back, many walkers set off on the 4km route at a cracking pace, with one pair walking a second lap! One of them was William Sanders resident Lin Patterson who walked the loop a second time in order to complete her 60km!
Other walkers, such as Raewyn and Joseph Whitham from Bert Sutcliffe, were happy to celebrate the fact they had made the halfway mark.
Meanwhile, Possum Bourne’s Paul Stephens (top picture) and Shirley Mooy and Miriam Corban’s Ellen Holliday finished their missions today, with their fellow residents cheering them on.
Ellen Holliday (centre) and Sharron Peters both completed their walking missions on the day, with their success captured by the film crew.
Ellen has been a member of the Blue Tops community walking group for many years and has continued her good walking habits with 10 of the group now living in the village.
Another couple, Bert Sutcliffe’s Sharron and Victor Peters, marked their mission completion at the same time as they celebrated another very special milestone – their 55th wedding anniversary!
As usual, the walkers enjoyed a morning tea after the walk and shared their stories and adventures with each other.