City2Surf: Pounding the pavement at 85

STAUCH SUPPORTER: Margaret Grofski, who turned 85 today said as long as her legs keep working, she will keep walking the City to Surf 14km event. PHOTO: Martin Hunter

The Star Media City to Surf attracts all manner of participants for a wide range of reasons, but for Margaret Grofski, it is about having fun with enthusiastic people and raising money for her favourite charity.

The Sockburn resident turned 85 on Thursday, and said as long as her legs keep working, she will keep walking the 14km event.

“It means I can still do things with other people, and they are so enthusiastic. It is fortunate we have this event in the city and the organisers do a brilliant job running it,” she said.

THE BEGINNING: Margaret Grofski (left) with some of her Ballantynes colleagues about to embark on their first City to Surf in 2008. PHOTO: Supplied

This year she will be walking to raise money for Ronald McDonald House.

She first entered the event in 2008 while she was working in the bed and bath department at Ballantynes, and convinced a group of colleagues to join her.

“That set the whole thing going for me. It was something we could do together. It was a great outing,” she said.

At first, she didn’t have to train as she was walking quite a lot at her job, but as the years passed she found she had to get out on the street and prepare for the event.

“I go walking every second day, you have to have a rest day, and I vary the distance. The aim is to be able to walk the distance comfortably on the day,” she said.

She also gets her mental and physical conditioning from weekly line dancing, which she said is really good fun.

She has only missed two events since 2008, one in 2010 as the weather looked like it would rain and her family suggested walking 14km in a downpour would not be ideal, and again in 2015 after she broke her leg.

But her two favourite times were the 2008 outing with her colleagues and in 2013 when her six children walked it with her for her 80th birthday.

She said she is looking
forward to the event and said it is very well run and an asset to the city.

“You can take part with all these vibrant young people and it fills me with enthusiasm,” she said.

She gets great support from her husband Peter who drops her off at every event and picks her up from the finish line.

When asked if she would consider dropping down and just walking the 6km event
she said: “You can’t give up, I’ll keep doing it until I can’t any longer.”

If you would like to sponsor Mrs Grofski you can be visiting:

•To enter the Star Media City2Surf visit.

•The City2Surf on March 18 will be split into 6km
and 14km sections

•The 14km fun run will start at Centennial Park, Spreydon, at 9am

•The Sport Canterbury 6km fun run will start at Hansen Park, Opawa, at 10am

•Both events will finish at the Ferrymead playing fields

•There will be entertainment with live music, food and free children’s entertainment following the event