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Stars Tackled Rugged Mountain Race For Kiwi Youth

12 May 2004
News release

New Zealand Stars Tackled Rugged Mountain Race
To Raise Funds For Kiwi Youth

A mountainous test of New Zealand’s top talents has given a huge financial boost to the Spirit of Adventure Trust.

The Vodafone Extreme Challenge, held at Mt Ruapehu over the weekend, raised $150,000 for the Trust, which helps New Zealand youth develop leadership, independence and teamwork.

Vodafone New Zealand Foundation Chairman Neil Porteous, said: “The challenge really lived up to its name. It was definitely an extreme weekend dominated by weather and mud.

“But it was all worth it because we are proud to be able to support such a hard-working organisation which provides positive experiences for more than 1,200 young Kiwis a year.”

The Vodafone Extreme Challenge saw 13 teams of five – made up of four businesspeople and one celebrity – start at the Mangahuia Campsite off State Highway 47, then run to the Whakapapaiti Hut before a 4km jog down the Bruce Road, finishing at the Grand Chateau.

Along the way, they also completed a series of complex brainteasers, a rock-climbing wall and SAS-style physical challenges.

The winning team, Hewlett Packard and their sports star Kiwi mountain runner Melissa Moon, blitzed the tough track, crossing the finish line in just 2 hours and 29 minutes.

Seven minutes behind were Woosh Wireless who ran with John Oakley after his wife Dame Susan Devoy sprained her ankle the night before and third place went to IBM with 2004 Coast-to-Coast winner George Christison.


Mr Poteous said, “It was a closely fought race between the 13 teams, with less than 25 minutes separating the front five.

“Each team had to run up steep hills, through swampland, bush and tussock and across three rivers, as well as prove its mental stamina on the brain teasers, which included questions on logic, maths, science and local general knowledge,” said Mr Porteous.

“It was a very exciting, close-run race and all the teams demonstrated great team work to get through the event,” said Mr Porteous.

Other celebrities who tackled the Challenge included surf lifesaver Cory Hutchings, cricketers Lou Vincent and Hamish Marshall, New Zealand hockey player Dion Gosling and show business personalities Robbie Magasiva from ‘The Strip’, sisters Katrina and Rebecca Hobbs, Erika Takacs, Jon Bridges and Stacey Daniels.

Spirit of Adventure Trust Chief Executive John Lister said the Trust was overwhelmed at the generosity of all the corporate teams and celebrities who took part.

“The whole event was an enormous success and we are extremely grateful to the Vodafone New Zealand Foundation for organising such an exciting fund-raising adventure.”

The funds raised will subsidise the cost of voyages for Kiwi teenagers to throughout the country to ensure they don't miss out on this once-in-a-lifetime experience.

- ends -

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