In May, Taranaki farmer Simon Adams ran four marathons, one every weekend, taking on the pain to raise awareness about water safety after his son Jordy tragically drowned in 2021 aged just 18.
He has raised nearly NZ$40,000 that is going directly to Surf Life Saving NZ's beach education programme which he hopes will give the next generation the tools to keep themselves safe in the water.
Adams told REX hosts Hamish McKay and Rebecca Greaves that while it's been extremely difficult to process his son's passing, he found running and improving his physical fitness also helped his mental fitness.
"Last year I decided I wanted to run a marathon before I turned 40…I achieved that and thought that was pretty hard but at the same time the training was actually really good for me," he said.
"That was the initial starting point and then I thought if I can do something this hard four times then people are going to take notice of that and if they take notice of that then listen and look at the message I'm trying to spread at the same time.
He told Greaves and McKay that the team of people who got behind the project and supported him through his four marathons were amazing and massively exceeded his expectations.
"I initially thought it might be four or five people that are out there supporting but by the end of it on the last marathon I had probably 40 people running in behind me and another 50 at the finish line."
He believes in general, Kiwis take water safety far too lightly, especially considering how much of it there is across and around Aotearoa.
"We're around it, in it and on it all the time which is great and we should be but at the same time, we need to give it a bit more respect."
"The little things like wearing a life jacket, that should be like a seatbelt in a car, it should just be automatic."