Guest blog by RFUK supporter David Morgan
Having run five marathons to raise money for the Rainforest Foundation UK over the last 15 years, I wanted to tackle a bigger challenge to celebrate turning 50. So at the beginning of February a friend and I competed in the Kathmandu Coast-to-Coast race, cycling, running and kayaking 243 km across New Zealand’s South Island in two days.
New Zealand is a beautiful country and to go over the mountains from Kumara Beach in the west to Christchurch in the east was spectacular.
The cycling was enjoyable, on fast roads. However, the 30.5 km run alone was harder than anything I’ve done before - the most adequate word to describe it is ‘brutal’. I was most worried about the 70 km kayak as I had become very anxious about it during training. But on the day I just got on with it. The rapids in the gorge were ‘exciting’, then a very frustrating 15 km stretch where I kept choosing the wrong braid and having to drag the kayak back to deeper water. The race was rounded off with a very long, dull bike ride with a headwind all the way into Christchurch. After two long days, my relief at crossing the finish line was huge.
As always, the race itself was only the tip of the iceberg. It took a year of training and planning to do it, and there were many ways we could have done it better. Training for 3 disciplines added so much pressure and getting sponsorship from friends, family and work really helped with motivation.
As I paid for everything myself, it was good knowing that all the money I raised would go straight to the Rainforest Foundation UK. I’ve been a supporter since 2004, loving the blend of environmental and poverty focus in protecting the rights of indigenous rainforest people. Climate change is the single biggest issue we face and maintaining rainforest ecosystems is hugely important. There is no-one better to take care of these precious habitats than the people who have lived there sustainably for generations.
The race has been my focus for the last year, and I’m looking forward to getting back to normal now. But if you’re looking for something that will truly test your strength, skill and stamina, I can highly recommend the Coast-to-Coast.
If you want to support David in his fundraising campaign for RFUK, please visit his Just Giving page here: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/david-morgan-coast