Rick­shaw Run here we go

Kapi-Mana News - - NEWS - By AN­DREA O’NEIL

You would need a very good rea­son to sign up to a mad­cap rick­shaw ride across In­dia, risk­ing death or dis­fig­ure­ment.

Luck­ily Alan Cun­nane has one – rais­ing money for a Third World water char­ity.

Mr Cun­nane, 28, a graphic in­for­ma­tion spe­cial­ist at Porirua City Coun­cil, will spend April trav­el­ling 3000 kilo­me­tres by mo­torised rick­shaw from Kochi at the bot­tom of In­dia to Shillong in the far north-west.

The Rick­shaw Run is a char­ity event for only the most ex­treme thrill-seek­ers: there is no su­per­vi­sion, no set route and no guar­an­tee par­tic­i­pants will get to the fin­ish line in one piece. Par­tic­i­pants spend six to eight hours on the road ev­ery day, and only 70 per cent make it to the end, Mr Cun­nane says.

‘‘There’s a high chance of per­ma­nent dis­fig­ure­ment, loss of limbs, and kid­nap­ping,’’ he says. ‘‘It’s the mad­dest race in the world.’’

Twenty- five teams from around the world will take part but Mr Cun­nane ex­pects to see most of them only at the start and fin­ish lines.

Mr Cun­nane, his brother, sis­ter and three friends, will form two teams whose names riff on sa­cred In­dian bovines: The Psy­chows and Last of the Moohi­cans. The teams’ rick­shaws will be dec­o­rated to theme, mo­hawk and all.

The two teams have al­ready raised $ 7000 for Frank Water, a char­ity that has given 400,000 peo­ple ac­cess to clean water by in­stalling pu­rifi­ca­tion sys­tems in In­dia and Africa.

A visit to a vil­lage served by a Frank Water sys­tem will be a high­light of the jour­ney, Mr Cun­nane says.

Much of the trek is off the beaten track so he should have plenty of op­por­tu­ni­ties to meet lo­cals.

‘‘The whole point is we’re go­ing to be vis­it­ing really re­mote lo­ca­tions.’’

Find­ing lo­cals with me­chan­i­cal skills will be es­pe­cially handy – rick­shaws pro­vided for the trek tend to break down twice a day, but that’s all part of the fun, Mr Cun- nane says. ‘‘It’s go­ing to be just an amaz­ing ad­ven­ture. We’re do­ing some­thing out of the or­di­nary. I’ve done lots of stupid things be­fore, this is just one more to add to the list.’’

Fol­low Mr Cun­nane’s ad­ven­tures, and learn how to do­nate at face­book. com/ Psy­cowsAndMoohi­can­sRick shawRun.

Water war­rior: Coun­cil worker Alan Cun­nane will spend April risk­ing life and limb in a rick­shaw ride across In­dia, rais­ing money for a water char­ity.

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