Marathon for a Cause: The Fight Against Cerebral Palsy with Andrew McCrory

Marathon is a tough challenge. There will be days when you wonder whether the early morning runs, the sweltering heat, and the pressure to win are all worth it. Yet, despite the odds, charity runners still put on their running shoes, hoping to transform the lives of people in need.

Without a doubt, completing a marathon is an amazing feat. However, doing it for a good cause always elevates the experience.

In this episode, Andrew McCrory talks about his journey running across New Zealand to raise funds for kids with cerebral palsy. He describes the obstacles he faced during the marathon and shares how he overcame them. Finally, Andrew offers advice to those considering undertaking such amazing feats for a good cause.

If you’re interested in running for a cause, this episode is for you!

Resources

Here are three reasons why you should listen to the full episode:

  1. Understand how running can help advance a noble cause.
  2. Get advice on how to cope with the effects of long-distance running.
  3. Find out how Andrew overcame hurdles, both in ultra-marathons and in life.

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Episode Highlights

[3:56] Andrew’s Background 

Andrew is a loving husband and father. He is an EIT tutor who assists students preparing for careers in the police and defence forces. He works part time at Peak Fitness and Health as an instructor.

Andrew had a back injury as a result of an unfortunate event when he was 17 years old. He went back to running after his recovery. Before joining the army, he worked as a mechanic and a farmer.

[8:27] Starting Long-Distance Running

Andrew was inspired to run across New Zealand to raise funds for children with cerebral palsy. He trained for around two months before he started running in December. The only requirement when taking part in long-distance running is to be physically fit.

[11:24] Standing on the Starting Line 

Andrew was thrilled to begin his run at Te Mata's Peak because there were many spectators. On day one, finishing the remaining 20 kilometres was a challenge as he continued to hurl.

Throughout the first four days of the marathon, Andrew's body continued to cramp. 

On the second day, Andrew overcame hurdles as he soothed his blistered feet and endured the burning heat. Running for an extended period causes your feet to swell. Before running a marathon, it is advisable to visit a shoe clinic. 

[18:03] Andrew’s Supportive Wife

Andrew’s wife, who is a nurse, has been there for him since he began running. She and Andrew work together to help children with cerebral palsy. 

Athletes need the guidance and support of a professional or loved one as they train.

[23:40] Coping with the Challenges of Running

It doesn’t matter how long it takes to finish a run. Instead, do what you can for the day. You can enjoy your run once you stop thinking of it as a race.

We should commend people who put themselves out there for others, regardless of whether their initiative succeeds or fails.

[33:01] Running for a Cause

Andrew’s marathon for cerebral palsy brought a large crowd from Auckland. He planned to gather $20,000 at the end of the marathon. By the 12th day, he had already received half of the planned charity fund.

Utilise the features of social media to encourage people to participate and support charity initiatives. People who have the least usually donate the most because they understand the struggle. 

[37:32] Preparing and Understanding Your Body 

Andrew changed little in his diet, except for giving up coffee. Athletes need the right combination of protein and amino acids to perform well. 

Listen to the full episode to know how amino acids can help you perform and recover better. 

[43:13] Bouncing Back 

Andrew completed his run across New Zealand in 40 days. He admits missing the simplicity of marathoning now that he has to deal with the complexities of reality.

Allow your body to recover and experience your accomplishment after completing a massive challenge. 

[50:49] Valuable Lessons from Marathoning

Don’t be frightened to take on a tough challenge. Learn to build a team. Look for someone who can help and motivate you.

Seek advice from good people. Always celebrate small wins. 

Failure is inevitable. You need to learn how to pick yourself up when you fall.

[55:45] The Ultra Marathon Community

In the marathon community, it doesn't matter who crosses the finish line first. Everyone encourages one another to get through the event. The last person to cross the finish line is the toughest and has fought every obstacle known to man.

About Andrew

Andrew McCrory served in the New Zealand Army as a Vehicle Mechanic for 14 years and in that time developed a passion for fitness and seeing how far he could push his body.  He has challenged himself over the years competing in various multi-sport events.  He is an active hunter and outdoorsman and has a strong focus on ultra-running which had developed over the last 3 years after coming back from a spine injury which resulted in a fusion of the L5/S1 vertebrae. 

Andrew has competed in various ultra-running events but most recently ran the length of New Zealand, completing 2060km over 40 days straight and raising over $50,000 for kids with Cerebral Palsy.  Andrew's big goal is the “toughest footrace on Earth”, the Badwater Ultra Marathon in the USA.

Apart from being an ultra-marathoner, Andrew is an instructor at Peak Fitness and Health and a Services Pathway Tutor at the Eastern Institute of Technology (EIT), where he prepares students for the field of law enforcement. Andrew is also a loving husband and father of two. 

Learn more about Andrew’s cause on Give a Little.

You can also connect with him through his social media accounts: Facebook and Instagram.

Powerful Quotes

[23:42] Andrew: ‘I just got it through my head that it doesn't matter how long it took me to do 50k… It didn't matter. I could only do what I could do’

[25:22] Lisa: ‘I don't care whether they make it or not make it… because people who are putting themselves out there on the line to do something epic and for good and for their own sporting achievement as well deserve to be congratulated for giving it their all.’

[36:53] Lisa: ‘It does reinforce your belief in humanity because we can get pretty damn cynical in the world that we live in. You know how terrible things can be. Then, you get on the other hand, just amazing people doing amazing things. It's just giving and caring.’

[46:15] Lisa: ’Please don't just dive into the next thing. Because you have this tendency when you come off the back of something epic that you've just done, and you’ve achieved, and you’ve done so well, to rush into something else because there's a big hole in your life.’ 

[46:49] Lisa: ‘That was the beautiful thing about ultra-marathon running. You only had one problem to solve that day and that was to get you across the finish line —5 0k’s away. And that's a beautiful purity of purpose.’ 

[50:50] Andrew: ‘Don't be afraid to give it a go. But find someone to help you.’

[52:54] Andrew: ‘Celebrate the small wins. Success breeds success.’

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To pushing the limits,

Lisa

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My favourite running podcast by miles⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐

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I am getting my mojo back with regards to my health and running after treatment for breast cancer, I connected with Lisa as I was looking for positive influences from people who are long distance runners and understand our mindset. Lisa’s podcasts have been a key factor in getting me out of a negative space where I allowed others limiting beliefs to stop me from following my heart and what I believe is right for me. After 18 months of being in cancer recovery mode I wanted to get out of the cancer mindset and back to achieving goals that had been put aside. Listening to Pushing The Limits has put me onto other great podcasts, and in the process I have learnt so much and am on a pathway to a much better place with my mindset and health. Thanks so much Lisa for doing what you do and always being you.
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