Richard Turpie’s heartfelt reason for running an ultra-marathon

09 May 2022

Old Boy Richard Turpie (15212) is on a marathon mission, running 100 kilometres to raise money to support the journey to a new heart for five-year-old Chase Porter.

Chase, who lives with his parents in Hamilton, needs a new heart after being diagnosed with Barth Syndrome, a rare genetic condition that has caused his own one to fail. Without a heart transplant, the determined youngster will die.

“During lockdown, I was looking for a way to give back to someone less fortunate, and soon discovered a great cause after reading about Chase and his battle to survive,” Richard, 22, recalls. “I contacted Chase’s parents and asked what I could to do to help as their son fights so hard to live.”

After talking to Chase’s parents and with “a child’s life in the balance”, Richard has decided that he can best support the family through deeds, opting to undertake an ultra-marathon to raise money so that they can support their son as he awaits a heart transplant.

The longer that Chase, who has a severely enlarged and weakened heart, can grow, the better his chance of coping with the transplant of an adult heart.

With support from fellow young Old Boy Will Duston (14683), Richard aims to raise $25,000 during his mammoth marathon – taking about 12 hours – around Hagley Park in Christchurch on Saturday, 4 June, Queen’s Birthday Weekend.

“By working together and spreading the word online, we hope that sponsors from throughout New Zealand and, closer to home, the Christ’s College community, will donate to our givealittle page, Chasing a Heart. We also hope others will join me on the run, drawing in even more supporters and sponsors.”

Both young men believe a mix of individual support and corporate sponsorship is integral to achieving their goal, welcoming any backing from individuals and businesses willing to pay per lap around Hagley Park to benefit Chase.

“For Chase and his parents, it is a frightening waiting game, and we want to help ease some of that apprehension and uncertainty as they await the transplant,” Will, 22, a former member of Corfe House, explains. “We are reaching out to our College community to ask you to join us on a hopefully life-saving journey.”

For Richard, who is studying for a Bachelor of Commerce, majoring in Economics, and Will, who is a paraplanner with Funds Administration New Zealand, their time at College underlines their commitment to giving back following their final year in 2018.

“We both realise how fortunate we are, and the lack of major health problems in our families has also highlighted that when you are doing something for someone else, that gives you a far stronger purpose than doing something just for yourself,” Richard, a former Flower’s House boarder, says.

Both Richard and Will want to also thank Milestone Financial for its generous donation and for supporting the run.

To support Richard, Will and, most importantly, Chase, please go to: