Rhys Maxwell's Melbourne Marathon

Monday, 5 September, 2011

In December 2003, the Maxwell family lost a husband and father to a brain aneurysm, suddenly and without warning. This year, Rhys Maxwell has committed himself to run 42.2km in memory of his dad and to raise money for the Neurological Foundation to support research into conditions such as brain aneurysms that affect one in five people.

Murray Maxwell was a healthy, vibrant father of three with a passion for coaching regional rowing crews and running marathons. It was at a rowing regatta at Lake Karapiro with his family that an aneurysm inside Murray’s brain haemorrhaged and 30 minutes later claimed his life. The event was so sudden and swift that wife Robyn and children Rhys, Darren and Alisha had no opportunity to say goodbye.

The Maxwell family like many of us, had never heard of a brain aneurysm before, let alone understood its threat or its common and unpredictable nature. Rhys’ marathon effort will raise awareness of neurological conditions and money to fund research into treatment and cures of these devastating disorders.

Setting himself no easy task, Rhys has planned a gruelling training routine spanning eight weeks to prepare him for his first full marathon. His weekly training programme will consist of two strength sessions and five to six training runs, covering 65-80km a week. These extra eight to nine hours of training are on top of his full time job as an architect and mean that when he’s not working or training, he’s eating.

The course chosen is the popular Melbourne Marathon, held on Sunday 9th October, with 6000 runners doing their part for charity. Winding throughout the centre city and along the waterfront, the route is challenging, sending runners along flat and hilly streets and finally finishing at the well-known Melbourne sporting landmark, the MCG.

Rhys’s inspiration to run for a cause comes from his father, a marathon runner himself. Having completed half marathons in the past, a full 42.2km has always been in his sights. When the opportunity to participate in the Melbourne Marathon presented itself, Rhys felt this was an ideal way to honour his father’s memory and to raise money for a charity that supports research into disorders such as brain aneurysms.

“It made sense for me to run the marathon for a charity that deals with the condition that ended my father’s life and to help in the research of this. I researched charities that dealt with brain conditions and was impressed by the efforts of the Neurological Foundation of New Zealand.”

With a month still to go, Rhys has already raised NZD$1500 for neuroscience research, with each extra donation adding more motivation.

“I have been totally overwhelmed by the generosity of my friends, family and even strangers that have donated so far and can’t thank them enough for their support. Their support makes the last hour of a three hour training run make sense and gives the pain a reason!”

To support Rhys on his marathon campaign, visit his fundraiser page and donate to neuroscience research. http://www.fundraiseonline.co.nz/RhysMaxwell/