From their hearts to their feat

The Tribune (NZ) - - FRONT PAGE - BETHANY REITSMA

Per­spi­ra­tion and ap­pre­ci­a­tion will be ex­hausted in equal mea­sure when a team of Palmer­ston North Boys’ High School stu­dents pound the Te Araroa Trail.

Forty-five stu­dents be­gin a 15-day relay run from Cape Reinga on Tues­day, and plan to fin­ish Tues­day, April 17, at Is­land Bay in Welling­ton.

They have set them­selves the chal­lenge of rais­ing $50,000 for Ronald Mc­Don­ald House. As far as they know, they are the first group to run the North Is­land sec­tion of the trail.

Quentin Thomas, 17, who had three heart surg­eries as a young child, said Ronald Mc­Don­ald House pro­vided him and his fam­ily with in­valu­able sup­port.

‘‘They paid for my flights, food, ac­com­mo­da­tion for me and my fam­ily … I’ve got a per­sonal con­nec­tion with them and this is a great way to show how much I ap­pre­ci­ated that.’’

Fel­low stu­dent Henry Leck said a lot of peo­ple con­nected with Boys’ High had been touched by the char­ity and do­ing the trail run was a great op­por­tu­nity to give back to the com­mu­nity.

‘‘And we’re look­ing for­ward to get­ting out of school!’’

The full Te Araroa Trail, cov­er­ing the North and South Is­lands is 3000 kilo­me­tres long, and its web­site rec­om­mends al­low­ing 50 to 80 days to walk the length of each is­land.

Boys’ High pub­lic re­la­tions and com­mu­nity ser­vices co­or­di­na­tor Rachel Wen­ham said hol­i­day parks had of­fered the squad free ac­com­mo­da­tion all the way down the North Is­land.

‘‘We’ve ac­tu­ally had so few ex­penses that we’re able to give all the money we raise di­rectly to Ronald Mc­Don­ald House.’’

Forty-five se­nior stu­dents are do­ing most of the legs of the trail, with another 45 year 9 and 10 boys join­ing the Whanganui-Manawatu leg of the run. The boys will be run­ning with buck­ets to col­lect money as they go.

‘‘We ask a lot of our com­mu­nity,’’ said head of sport David Bar­wick.

‘‘We thought it’d be nice for the school to give back.

‘‘It’s a chal­lenge for th­ese guys … we read up about the Te Araroa Trail and thought, let’s give this a go.

‘‘It’ll be a fan­tas­tic learn­ing ex­pe­ri­ence for the boys.’’

‘‘Part of the chal­lenge is be­ing un­com­fort­able,’’ said Bar­wick.

‘‘The kids don’t re­ally know what they’re in for, but they’re ex­cited.’’

Wen­ham said they were ex­tremely grate­ful to their two main spon­sors, McFall Fuel and McVerry Crawford.

Al­most $5000 had been raised even be­fore a stride had been taken.

Do­na­tions can be made to the team at ev­ery­day­hero.com.

‘‘I've got a per­sonal con­nec­tion with them and this is a great way to show how­much I ap­pre­ci­ated that.’’

Quentin Thomas, 17

PHOTO: WAR­WICK SMITH/STUFF

A team from PNBHS is run­ning the Te Araroa Trail from Cape Reinga to Welling­ton to raise funds for Ronald Mc­Don­ald House.

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