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Grab a Ride through Middle Earth with Hobbit Fan

Grab a Ride through Middle Earth with Hobbit Fan

A hobbit fan who ran the length of New Zealand in sandals is now encouraging strangers to ride it with him on a tandem bike.

Naresh Kumar, 33, gained nation-wide media coverage and a handshake from Invercargill Mayor Tim Shadbolt when he ran the equivalent of 87 marathons in 87 days in December 2014 to complete Te Araroa – a trail which spans the length of New Zealand.

He says he’s now completing the journey through middle earth on a tandem bike to meet new people and raise money for Tearfund’s Stand with Her campaign, which helps victims of human trafficking and exploitation.

“Edmund Burke said all that is needed for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing,” says Kumar.

“This is something I can do to spread the word about the 21 million slaves around the world and the girls who are coerced into working in brothels, and raise some money to help them.”

Kumar is to start his ride at Cape Reinga on January 16 and finish in Bluff in March, travelling through towns and cities including Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch along the way.

Kumar, who grew up in poor conditions in Chennai, India, discovered his love of running in the mountains where he would run hundreds of kilometres at a time.

Inspired by the little water his family lived on, he ran 500km across Tennessee to raise $10,000 to build a well in Malawi and Ethiopia.

Since 2014 he has been living frugally and running to raise money for charity “to repay people’s kindness”.

“I don’t have an address. I don’t have a job. I have mail shipped all over the world. But I’m happy. I have a lot of travel plans, and I want to give back to the community as much as possible.”

He says the thing he gets asked about most is why he runs in sandals.

“I’ve done 80-something ultra-marathons in them. I just find them comfortable.”

You can learn more or support Kumar by visiting his websiteFreedomseat.org.nz or watching his Freedom Seat promo video.

Ends


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