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The Long Walk Is About To Begin For Chris Cairns

For immediate release

13 August 2008

The Long Walk Is About To Begin For Chris Cairns

Over 1000 kilometres lies ahead for Chris Cairns when he starts his walk for rail safety this Monday (August 18) starting at Pukekohe and finishing at Rolleston near Christchurch, at the site where his sister along with 2 other women were killed when a truck hit the train they were travelling on in 1993.

Despite a heavy schedule of international cricket both as a player and a commentator, Chris has been putting in the hard yards training over recent months even if it has meant getting up at 5am to head off the heat in Dubai.

Chris is starting the walk on Monday morning from Pukekohe’s Bledisloe Park just after 8am and his first stop will be Pokeno, a 21 kilometre walk. There are no rest days and he will finish up at Rolleston on Sunday September 21.

The main focus is to raise rail safety awareness, however Chris and his team will also be collecting along the way and he hopes to raise enough funds to launch a rail safety programme for primary and college age pupils. Currently a programme called Tracks are for Trains exists for primary age children but there is nothing similar for teenagers.

Chris states that “this walk is about raising awareness and funds for rail safety. We need to make every New Zealander aware of their responsibility at level crossings”.

From Pokeno, Chris will continue to walk down State Highway One and his only diversion will be at Sanson when he will walk into Palmerston North and then loop back onto the main highway.

He is keen to have as many local identities as possible join him for the start of each new day, he does not expect anyone to walk all the way as he intends to hit a cracking pace each day he hits the road, and of course safety will be a major issue on the open road.

Overall he will average 28 kilometres a day and Chris is keen to acknowledge all those people who have supported him to get to the starting line.

This includes Toll NZ, Shell NZ, The Rock FM, NZ Police, New Zealand Transport Agency, Northface, Hyundai, KiwiRail, and Ontrack.


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