Former Shortland Street star Amelia Reid-Meredith, right, known for her role as Bella Durville, and good friend and co-star Ria Vandervis, below, who plays Harper Whitley will join us at the race, raising both funds and awareness for Bowel Cancer New Zealand with their participation.
The race falls approximately one year after Amelia lost her mother to the disease in May 2017.
It will be the second time she’s completed the race, after doing it in 2013 with her mum, then recently cleared of her first cancer diagnosis, cheering her on from the sidelines.
“Mum passed away in May 2017 so this year I’m running in honour of her and to focus my grief in a positive outlet … Last time she was at every spectator spot cheering me on and this time her memory will spur me on,” Amelia says.
Ria was also very close to Amelia’s mum, and is joining Amelia as a show of support, as well as for the opportunity to raise funds for the “amazing work” Bowel Cancer New Zealand does.
“By participating in the 2018 Vineyard Half Marathon, I hope to raise awareness about bowel cancer, which will hopefully prompt people to get checked out early when the disease is curable,” she says.
The focus on the day will be about taking in the experience with friends and family.
“Honestly for me it is just about trying to encourage myself to battle through the self discipline of going for a run,” Amelia says.
“[Running is] definitely not in my normal routine so it’s a bit of a battle to motivate myself. However, I think about mum and her battle with bowel cancer and that certainly inspires me to go out there and push myself. She was nothing but heroic in her journey with cancer and I want to make her proud.”
Ria has a goal to raise about $2500 for Bowel Cancer New Zealand, but no set time-goal in mind.
“I did the Auckland half marathon a few years ago when I was a lot fitter, and did that in under 2 hours, but I am not putting pressure on myself for this one by having a goal time. I just want to enjoy the experience,” she says.
Both women have a fondness of the Marlborough region, which is a special spot for Amelia.
“I spend a lot of time in Marlborough, I have family there and my dad has his World War 2 bomber in the Omaka Heritage museum so [Marlborough] holds a huge place in my heart.”
The Vineyard Half gave Amelia a real buzz in 2013, and she’s looking forward to doing it again.
“My goal is to think about every step being a salute to my courageous mother … I hope to finish it with my heart full and to give my family something positive to come together in and remember a beautiful woman.”
Head here to support Bowel Cancer New Zealand with your entry, or to donate to the cause.