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