By Kris Weyling, 7 March 2023
So, sometime around July of last year, I heard from a friend of mine who lives up in Auckland... he sent me a link to a trail-walk taking place the following year and enquired if I'd be keen…
The venue: Taranaki, on the west coast of the North Island of New Zealand.
Clearly an insane distance, but as I'd been doing a lot of hiking at that time (albeit nothing even approaching an echo of that distance) it seemed like a relatively accessible challenge.
There was another aspect to it, we were required to raise an amount in donations for Oxfam to take part...this was my main concern, but I was swiftly told "she'd be right". Problem solved then ;)
I was in. The next thing was we needed a team of 4. And there were only 2 of us.
I have a friend down Southland (where I'm from) that I figured would be a 50/50 shot. I put it to him, he was interested but told me he needed to sleep on it, then I heard from him hilariously early the next morning telling me he was in.
So that made three, we still needed a fourth. Thankfully, my friend from the South conscripted his brother who I knew to be a good sort. We had our team.
And now July of 2022 has moved on into March 2023, the event itself is less than a week away. I've booked my leave from work, my flights, accommodation. No backing out now.
The training has been intense, though as I feared, we still haven't made our donation target. So please, if you're reading this, and you're inclined to give to a good cause every now and then – consider Oxfam. You could do a lot worse. Their mission is alleviating poverty across the globe. This can take several forms:
To help me out here, head on over to my donation page, thanks!
Having said this, we would like to express unending gratitude for those who have already donated, you know who you are, and you're amazing!
I've got no idea how the weekend itself will go, I had a training plan worked out but that got shunted aside due a bunch of things... covid, Christmas, complacency. That said, could you ever feel prepared for something this absurd?
We'll make it to the start line, and we'll see it through to the finish line if our bodies are able.
That's all for now. I'll check back in after the race and let you know how we got on. And I promise I'll take a whole heap of photos!