Running for other’s lives

59-year-old Chris Putwain gives a new meaning to the saying ‘blood, sweat and tears’, as he works towards his goal of completing an awe-inspiring feat of endurance - 12 marathons over the course of 2015.

Why did he decide to run a whopping 500kms (which is the equivalent of running from Auckland to Palmerston North)? Well it’s for a bloody good cause - to raise awareness about New Zealand Blood Service’s need for more plasma donors.

Cantabrian Chris donated his first unit of blood back in high school after he’d heard that anyone who donated got chocolate biscuits and time off class. Since then he was hooked as a regular blood donor, and more recently became a plasma donor after hearing that there was an increase in the need for plasma.

Before setting his goal of 12 marathons throughout 2015, Chris had previously completed about half a dozen marathons.

He is running all of his races in a t-shirt captioned ‘Every drop counts’, which his wife also sports from the sideline to also encourage others to donate.

Chris’s goal will send him running all over the country, with marathon locations in Auckland, Rangitoto, Wellington, Christchurch, Rotorua, New Plymouth, Invercargill, Dunedin, Taupo, Nelson, Westport and Queenstown.

“We’re so inspired by Chris’s impressive marathon achievements and incredibly grateful for his ongoing support of New Zealand Blood Service, not only through his running but his commitment to donating plasma. We would love more Kiwis to roll up a sleeve and lend an arm – it’s much easier than running a marathon!” says Asuka Burge, National Manager Marketing and Communications, New Zealand Blood Service.

For every kilometer Chris runs in 2015, 4 new plasma donors are needed across NZ in order to keep up with the constant supply for plasma and plasma-derived products. Plasma donations can be made at the following Donor Centres – Epsom (Auckland), Hamilton, Tauranga, Palmerston North, Wellington, Christchurch and Dunedin.

Plasma, nicknamed ‘liquid gold’, is the gold-coloured liquid in blood that carries blood cells around the body, and is made up of water, proteins and clotting factors.

Plasma-derived products such as EVOGAM® and Intragam P®, albumin and blood clotting factor concentrates help treat people who have lost a lot of blood from accidents or other trauma and people who have severe bleeding during surgery. They are also used to help treat some people with bleeding disorders such as haemophilia, as well as to boost the immune systems of people who do not have enough antibodies of their own to protect against some infections.  

With the demand for plasma-derived products increasing at a rate of over 10% per year around the country, demand is only set to increase, which is why Chris is encouraging more Kiwis to consider becoming a blood or plasma donor.

You can follow Chris’s inspiring journey via his Facebook page. Chris’s schedule is:

  • 14th Feb Buller Gorge
  • 7th Mar New Plymouth
  • 28th Mar Rangitoto-Motutapu
  • 2nd May Rotorua
  • 31st May Christchurch
  • 21st June Nelson
  • 5th July Wellington
  • 1st August Taupo
  • 13th Sep Dunedin
  • 18th Oct Invercargill
  • 1st Nov Auckland
  • 21st Nov Queenstown

To find out more about becoming a plasma donor, visit or call 0800 448 325.


Back to top