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Accor $10 Queenstown Challenge To Cure Kids

Major Challenges For Competitors In 2008 Accor $10 Queenstown Challenge To Cure Kids

September 24 2008: Teams entered in the 2008 Accor $10 Queenstown Challenge to Cure Kids, starting in Auckland on October 1 and finishing in Queenstown on October 3, will face tougher challenges this year in their bid to win the race and raise significant funds for research into children’s life threatening illnesses.

General manager Simon Duffy says the high profile event, which calls on competitors to make their way from Auckland to Queenstown on just $10, has been instrumental in raising awareness of Cure Kids and its work, since it was launched four years ago.

Modelled on a race originally begun as a bet between two Queenstown businessmen, to see who could get from Queenstown to Auckland and back with $10 in their pocket, the event is an important source of funds and last year raised $396,000.

Twenty eight teams of two have entered this year’s race and Mr Duffy says this once again demonstrates the overwhelming support of the charity’s sponsors and people in the community.

“Teams have to raise a minimum of $7000 each as their entry fee and it’s a tough call. Some of them are incredibly innovative in the way in which they raise their funds and we are indebted to them for being involved.”

Among the 56 competitors this year are well known ZM night show host Mark Dye and his race partner Lee Densem. Classic Hits, one of this year’s sponsors has entered nightclub host Will Johnston and Hayley Russell. There will undoubtedly be some rivalry with the Fairfax Media team represented by Marlborough Express editor Lance Todd and his team mate Andrea Scott who is manager of Discover Marlborough.

The title sponsor Accor is represented by Victoria Frost, who is entering the race for the third time, and this year will compete with her mother Anne Nielsen.

Teams representing the Airforce Army, Navy and Police will also race in the diverse field.

Mr Duffy says there is a new set of challenges for the teams, the main one revolving round the start of the race in Auckland on October 1.

“The challenge is called ‘Pimp My Ride’ and competitors have to arrange a ride from the start, which will take them on the first leg to Hamilton, with the most spectacular vehicle winning the challenge and a significant number of points. We are expecting some fairly innovative vehicles and the judges will include Cure Kids ambassador and television personality Petra Bagust.”

Several other challenges will face competitors as they hitch rides through the country, stopping for the first night in Wellington (October 1), the second in Christchurch (October 2) and the final night in Queenstown (October 3).

Competitors will be tracked throughout the race by the Mr Hawk GPS system which enables race organisers to identify where teams are, and allows members of the public follow specific teams on the Cure Kids website.

Mr Duffy says safety of the competitors is all important and Cure Kids Safety Director Alan Nelson has set up a plan which ensures that information is received continuously.

“Competitors have to text headquarters when they pick up a ride so we always know who they are travelling with.”

Young Cure Kids ambassadors will be at the start and finish of the race and also meet teams en route when they stop in Wellington and Christchurch.

Funds raised from this year’s event will help fund the national screening programme into inherited heart diseases as well as other vital medical research into children’s illnesses.

Major sponsors for the 2008 Accor $10 Queenstown Challenge to Cure Kids are Accor, Classic Hits, Fairfax Media, Gen-I, Kia Motors, Rebel Sport, Qantas and Youthtown.


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