You are currently viewing Charity triathlon Due Drop Hope races into Whangamatā

Charity triathlon Due Drop Hope races into Whangamatā

The Due Drop Hope Challenge, a charity triathlon involving a powerhouse lineup of former elite athletes and I Am Hope founder Mike King is dropping into the Coromandel, and the public are invited to come meet the team

The 16-day relay event was initially scheduled for February but was postponed due to Cyclone Gabrielle. The event is now back on track and ready to kick off on April 11 from Mangonui, Northland.

Triathlon participants will arrive in Whangamatā on April 16. There will be a public meeting point at New World between 4-5pm, where the team will finish that day’s racing.  A public event will follow at the Whangamatā surf club, at 6.30pm. 

The line-up of sporting stars includes All Black great ‘Kamo Kid’ Ian Jones, MNZM, triathlon world champion Rick Wells, MBE, NRL star Richie Barnett along with Mike King.

The group, which also includes a slew of non-athlete participants (mostly mid-aged) are running, swimming and cycling the length of the North Island to raise awareness of children’s free counselling service Gumboot Friday in the regions.

Mike King says the delays kept his charity I Am Hope and Gumboot Friday busy setting up and operating the I Am Hope Wellness Centre in Hawke’s Bay and running an ongoing flood-relief fundraiser in response to the devastation.

“Everyone was so disappointed when our plans were delayed, especially after the mammoth logistical effort and many sleepless nights that went to planning and organising everything, from our tiny team of staff to volunteers, participants, sponsors and supporters.

“But there’s no point in sitting around moping. We got ourselves to the East Coast and went straight to work talking to the community about their needs and set up the wellness centre to get as many families the help they needed urgently.

“Meanwhile, the team have been consistently training and everyone’s pumped and ready to go. We can’t wait to meet with the communities along the way and let them know, help is available, help is here and we want your kids to use it. This what this is all about.”

Ex-All Black Hall of Famer Ian Jones says the team were delayed, but never distracted from the upcoming job at hand.

“It can be a real dampener on the spirits when you have a big challenge coming up but unforeseen circumstances completely outside of your control disrupts all your plans. What a great metaphor for life. The team kept positive and continued hard training sessions in preparation of the mammoth task ahead, and we look forward to raising awareness of Gumboot Friday, especially in the regions.”

Triathlon hardman Rick Wells says while it was frustrating, it was worth the wait.

“It’s always frustrating to put big things on hold as hundreds of people have pitched into this event and have been working for months to bring this charity triathlon to life, but the cause makes it worth the wait. We’ve been training hard and taking part in other smaller challenges here and there, and are more than ready to hit the ground running, pun intended.

“It’s also worth mentioning our ‘civilian’ participants who are not from professional sporting backgrounds but your regular ‘crazy old buggers’ who are mostly over 50 and love a good gut- twisting charity challenge. Good people doing a great thing for a brilliant cause.”