The adventure race provides a focus for our fundraising activities for Cure Kids, a cause we can all get behind. This year, we’re delighted to have raised more than $20,000 for life-saving child health research.
The race is a test of fitness, endurance, navigation skills and teamwork (among other things!), with bush, farmland, river crossings and even a swim to negotiate on this year's course. All four racers have competed in previous events, so we thought we would ask them what keeps them coming back for more.
“I've been fully immersed in the Theta Cure Kids teams since the start 6 years ago, I love the combination of a big adventure and raising money for a fantastic cause. Seeing Theta's fundraising top $20K this year blows me away.”
Alan is the team captain and lead navigator. This means “taking the blame after spending hours traversing the wrong stream”. He also finds the beginning of the race and marking up the maps just 15 minutes before starting “highly stressful”, and is most looking forward to “a cool adventure in a new part of the Hunuas with a great team”.
“I have always enjoyed the outdoors and combining that with raising money for a great cause is the icing on the cake.”
Jason describes himself as “a grunt, just there to get stuff done”. Like Alan, he’s been part of the adventure race team every year since 2012. He doesn’t enjoy the mapping and course plotting at the start, “but the actual start is pretty awesome and then there’s the adventure of heading into uncharted territory.”
“I like the combination of fundraising with a purpose and a crazy adventure. I hate to be bored or normal, - the dictionary definition of adventure: – 1. a risky undertaking of unknown outcome, 2. an exciting or unexpected event or course of events”
Like Jason, Richard describes himself as: “a 'grunt' to provide some towing capacity and carry some gear. A bit like a 'domestique' in cycling.” He’s not a fan of the mud, and most looks forward to the team atmosphere with our support crew. This is Richard’s second race with the team and first Cure Kids Great Adventure Race.
"The Cure Kids race motivates me so much more than the getting fit part. Theta has got to know many children and families as we have met them at races and in the office on visits. Through this process we have come to understand their challenging daily situation. We live a very privileged life when we are lucky enough to have good health. It is something the whole of Theta has got behind every year, and it is great to be part of the team."
A veteran of several adventure races and a recent addition to this year's team, Julia has just moved 20 years of household items to a new location, and is at this very moment crossing the Cook Strait with a load of bikes for the weekend's adventure. Training has been a bit different for her this time around! She says: "I've always been up for physical challenge in a new and stunning location" and "I will not be planning on falling off my bike onto my head again this year - it does not clear the head in any way." Tu meke, Julia!
Of course behind any great team is a great support crew, who bring their own skills, expertise and passion to the race. Ivor is the official team photographer who used to be competitive orienteer and navigation instructor, and loves to be in the middle of the action on the day. Tomasz has been an awesome fundraiser and enthusiastic event organiser and is considering running next year. He's been practicing in the mud! Emily, Rob, David and Haixia are support crew veterans who always do a great job of looking after our racers on the day.
For all of us, most of all, this race is all about the kids living with serious health conditions, and supporting the Cure Kids funded research that could help them.