There was no missing Patch Palatchie at The Long Run 2024. He works for the New Zealand Defence Force as a recruiter and former automotive technician and ran the event in full army fatigues carrying an enormous backpack.
He heard at wor that staff could come down and be part of it, so alongisde his NZDF colleagues they set up a tent and began ticking off laps.
“I’m not really a fan of running so I thought I’d walk it and chuck the pack on,” Palatchie said.
Consistency was the theme for the 45-year-old, quietly lapping Malvern and Rugby parks to raise money for Child Cancer Foundation.
“The more we can raise for them the better right? They’re our future aren’t they.”
His pack was filled with everything from a sleeping bag, digging tools, and a jet-boiler for making coffee. It weighed about 35kg.
We caught up with him mid-afternoon on a near-record-breaking hot Canterbury day.
“This is lap 24, 39000 steps for the day so far,” he said, admitting fitness was not his go-to activity.
“Mate, I’m 45, spent years working on gear as a mechanic and now every so often I chuck the pack on and go for a wander,” he said.
“There’s nothing in my head when I’m walking, I’m just on auto pilot.”
So how was the body feeling in the middle of such a huge effort?
“Wrecked. Feet are taped up, shoulders are killing me, and you can see the amount of gravy leaking out of me. But we’ll crack on,” he said.
“6pm is the finish right? So I’ll just keep trudging on until then.”