Addington's quest to conquer the Coast to Coast
by Dave Di Somma, Harness News Desk
Addington Raceway has come up with a novel way to raise funds for the New Zealand Horse Ambulance Trust, and it's going to hurt.
Next month three of the raceway's senior managers, including chief executive Brian Thompson, will put on the lycra and tackle the country's most iconic and long-standing multi-sport event.
On February 10 and 11, Thompson (far right in photo), and colleagues Facilities and Property manager John Denton (centre) and Andy Ross (IT Manager) will run, bike and kayak the two-day Coast to Coast as a three-person team.
"We are there to finish, we are not going to podium," jokes Thompson, "but it is all for the best cause."
The annual race starts at Kumara on the West Coast and finishes 238 kilometres and a day later. After the opening biking and running stages on the Friday they will camp overnight at Klondyke Corner at Arthurs Pass before kayaking and then biking their way east towards the finish line in New Brighton in Christchurch.
Thompson and Denton are Coast to Coast newbies while Ross is a veteran of the race.
"Last year Andy did the Longest Day and we joked next year we'll do it altogether and here we are 12 months later!" says Thompson.
Ross did the one day event in under 14 hours and will be responsible for the 60 plus kilometre kayak down the Waimakariri river.
Denton, the team's cyclist, will have three rides during the two days, between 15 and 70kms each, while Thompson has arguably the toughest task of running 30 kilometres over the Main Divide.
"I did run over Goat's Pass over the holidays and we did it in about five and a half hours, it is tough but it's doable," says Thompson.
"J D has been training hard and we know he'll get there on sheer determination alone and Andy will just turn up and get it done - he's the pro!"
Also helping out will be the support crew of Finance Manager Catherine McLeavy and Operations Manager Deb d'Guild.
"It's the Dream Team pretty much," says Thompson, "it should be a lot of fun."
But raising money is the real focus.
Established in 2016 the Horse Ambulance Trust has a fleet of nine ambulances the length and breadth of the country. That ensures that all race meetings and equestrian events are now covered.
The Trust relies heavily on donations and generosity from the public.
Thompson has no target in mind in terms of how much they want to raise.
"Who knows?' he says, "but hopefully people will see what we are doing and will get on board."
To donate to Team Addington Raceway on their Givealittle page click here