For Mike Thomas, a love of dogs has inspired decades of dedicated fundraising.
The Belrose Country Club resident has raised thousands of dollars for Guide Dogs by participating in various charity races, including three London Marathons, and says it’s all down to his pets.
“My wife and I are real dog lovers—we’ve had five King Charles Spaniels over the years—and that’s how it all started!”
This 12 August, at the age of 80, he will run his second City2Surf—a 14-kilometre race from Sydney’s Hyde Park to Bondi Beach.
Describing himself as a “young–at–heart pensioner who wants to give a little back to society”, Mike is aiming to raise $3,300—10 per cent of the $33,000 it costs to train a guide dog.
“My initial target was $1,500, but I’ve already surpassed that!”
The community at Belrose Country Club has been particularly generous.
“Everyone knows me because I’m on the events committee, so I’ve had good success,” he said.
“We’ve got three fundraising events coming up in the next few months.”
RetireAustralia and a number of local businesses have also chipped in to help Mike reach his goal and support Guide Dogs NSW/ACT.
“It’s all important; every little bit counts.”
With an entire community ready to cheer him on and just two months until the race, Mike has been training hard.
“When you get to my age, it gets a bit harder, but I’m very pleased with how it’s all going,” he said.
“The only way you’re going to get around the course is by putting in the work beforehand, and when you see younger people crawling over the finish line behind you, you feel quite ecstatic!”
Support Mike’s campaign here