Pair off to Queenstown – on just $10

Auckland City Harbour News - - NEWS - By Scott Mor­gan

Ten dol­lars is barely enough to buy a de­cent lunch, let alone get two peo­ple from Auck­land to Queenstown.

But it’s all the cash Matt Ritchie and Sea­mus O’Loan are al­lowed to spend when they take on the $10 Auck­land to Queenstown Chal­lenge in Oc­to­ber.

The pair are rais­ing funds for Cure Kids, with Subur­ban News­pa­pers, pub­lish­ers of this news­pa­per, do­nat­ing $1000 to­wards the en­try fee.

“It’s taken a lot of the pres­sure off our shoul­ders,” Matt, 32, says.

The former Auck­land City Har­bour News sales rep­re­sen­ta­tive says the three­day chal­lenge is a great way to have some fun and raise money for a great cause.

“I’ve heard sto­ries from friends who have done it be­fore and said it was an ab­so­lute scream.

“As soon as we started, peo­ple be­gan do­nat­ing. Some peo­ple I haven’t heard from since high school.”

They have used a num­ber of meth­ods to raise funds so far, from tra­di­tional word of mouth to in­ter­net so­cial net­work­ing sites like Face­book.

With the fi­nan­cial re­stric­tions they face dur­ing the chal­lenge, hitch­hik­ing is one of the main ways Matt and Sea­mus plan to get around.

Matt, who has hitch­hiked around the North and South is­lands sev­eral times be­fore, is pre­pared for the chal­lenges they will face.

“We had one ride where an army gen­eral from Wellington took us to Waiouru.

“There was a ther­mo­stat where we could see the tem­per­a­ture out­side go­ing down from six to five then to four and ended up at mi­nus one.

“We were stand­ing un­der a tree with three jumpers, two pairs of jeans and socks on our hands.”

But po­lice­man Sea­mus, 28, a con­sta­ble at the Avon­dale sta­tion, says they may be able to call on a ride or two from his col­leagues around the coun­try if they are head­ing south.

“As long as we’re not tak­ing a ride to the sta­tion for do­ing some­thing wrong, we’ll be fine,” he says.

As for what the duo will wear dur­ing the race, the com­pany or per­son who do­nates the most money will get to de­cide on that.

“I’m happy to wear salmon,” Matt says. “Per­son­ally I’d like to see Sea­mus in a dress and heels.”

Along with pick­ing up rides Matt and Sea­mus will have to com­plete Amaz­ing Race-style chal­lenges.

They also plan on or­gan­is­ing quiz nights and auc­tions to in­crease their tally, which sits at more than $2600.

Subur­ban News­pa­pers gen­eral man­ager David Penny says the com­pany is proud to sup­port such a wor­thy cause.

“It’s great to see Matthew and Sea­mus con­tin­u­ing the sup­port that Subur­ban News­pa­pers has given over the years. Char­i­ties such as Cure Kids as­sist many fam­i­lies in our com­mu­nity, and be­ing their lo­cal news­pa­per pub­lisher it’s only fit­ting that we sup­port them in this ven­ture.

“I look for­ward to see­ing other busi­nesses spon­sor them, and will fol­low their progress over the chal­lenge,” he says.

To sup­port them visit www.fundraiseon­line.co.nz/ MatthewRitchie.

Photo: JA­SON OXENHAM

Queenstown bound: Matt Ritchie, left, and Sea­mus O’Loan are head­ing south for the $10 Auck­land to Queenstown Chal­lenge in Oc­to­ber.

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