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Sella meets Alexander McKenzie…. aka Forrest Gump

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Ever thought of running the length of New Zealand? Sergeant Alexander McKenzie has already done the equivalent of this four times in 2009, and he has no plans to stop just yet.

McKenzie has already run more than 7000 kilometres this year as he trains to be one of the first New Zealand representatives at the 24 Hour Ultra Distance Commonwealth Running Championships

McKenzie is one of only three athletes, and the only male, who has been picked to represent New Zealand at the inaugural event in Keswick England in September.

Running up to 35 Kilometres per day for training McKenzie has found a novel and inspirational way to train – do it for charity. Recently he featured in the ‘Big Night In’ Telethon where he ran over 200 kilometres in 22 hours on a treadmill down at Alinghi Base.

“It was pretty crazy, the treadmill faced out into a path where all the BNI spectators were streaming past from right to left. It started to feel like I was on a ship and made balancing pretty hard” McKenzie said.

This is not the first time McKenzie has used his intensive sport for good – earlier this year he completed a base-to-base run to raise funds for CanTeen, a charity close to his heart as his nephew was diagnosed with cancer early last year.

McKenzie ran continuously for 140km, starting out at Linton Army Camp and finishing at the old defence headquarters in Wellington with several town mayors joining him on route.

140Km is still considered warm up territory though:

“The current New Zealand record for an Ultra Marathon is 247 Kilometres in 24 hours, that’s nearly six back to back marathons. Let’s just say that I’m hoping to give that a bit of a nudge at Keswick.”

As with so many New Zealand athletes – there is a lot of talent and not necessarily a lot of money. Sergeant McKenzie was up in Auckland today where he paid a visit to online sella.co.nz, New Zealand’s largest FREE auction site.

As a key sponsor of the ‘Big Night In’ sella shared some space with Sergeant McKenzie at the event and were particularly impressed with his efforts.

“We were all absolutely exhausted simply by being at the telethon for 24 hours, this guy ran the whole time.” said Shane Bradley, founder of sella.

“We wanted to see if there was something we could do to support him – turns out he loves Mizuno shoes so we talked to the guys and have tee’d up with a couple of pairs of his favourites.”

These are no average shoes, McKenzie has been known to wear a pair of shoes out in less than three weeks yet with a pair of Mizunos on his feet he has clocked up to 1300KM before they have gone bust.

“It’s just a little thing but an important one” Finished Bradley.

“Every dollar counts for so many of our athletes who have to fund themselves to get on the world stage, and seeing as Sergeant McKenzie had spent so much of his time raising funds for others it was the least we could do.”


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