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Ultimate Hikes team picks up the pace for a great cause

8 April 2011

Ultimate Hikes team picks up the pace for a great cause

Ten staff members from New Zealand’s premier guided walk company have ditched hiking boots for running shoes as they prepare to raise money for the Pateke Conservation Project.

The Ultimate Hikes running team will expel one final burst of season fitness when they compete in the Routeburn Classic adventure race through Fiordland and Mt Aspiring national parks later this month.

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They’re raising funds for the Pateke Conservation Project which partners with the Fiordland Conservation Trust, Department of Conservation (DoC), Ultimate Hikes and Otago Community Trust as part of a nationwide programme to help protect the endangered Pateke (Brown Teal) duck from extinction.

General Manager Ultimate Hikes Noel Saxon said the company was keen to get behind the team’s efforts to raise money and was making donating easy through the Ultimate Hikes website and link to fundraise-online: (http://www.fundraiseonline.co.nz/UltimateHikesTeam/).

“They’re aiming to raise an additional $5000 over and above what Ultimate Hikes already contributes to the project, which would be an outstanding effort,” he said.

“The Pateke project is a cause that’s dear to our hearts. At last count the population of ducks has grown from just 660 in 2001 to between 2000-2500, all because of the programme.”

The Ultimate Hikes runners, made up predominantly of guides, has a clear ‘home’ advantage in the lead up to the 32km adventure run, as most of them call the Routeburn track ‘home’ for 6 months of the year.

“It would be fair to say that those guides know pretty much every rock, tree root, nook and cranny on the track, so we’ll be making the most of that advantage!” said Mr Saxon.

“Having spent so much time in the outdoors, the Ultimate Hikes team is very passionate about the environment so it’s no surprise they’re prepared to run a track we normally take three days to walk to raise money for something we all feel strongly about.”

Running the Routeburn as part of this event will be a ‘first’ for six of the Ultimate Hikes team, while the remaining four are veterans.

“Sadao Tsuchiya, one of our Routeburn Track guides, will be running the event for the fourth time and for others this will be the second and third time – so they’re sharing pointers with the newcomers,” said Mr Saxon.

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The Routeburn Classic is an 'adventure run' over New Zealand's world famous Routeburn Track. Staged on the 30th April it is an exclusive event and limited to 350 lucky athletes. The track is 32 km long and climbs to 1127meters above sea level.

To make a donation to the Ultimate Hikes team in support of the Pateke Conservation Project go to: http://www.fundraiseonline.co.nz/UltimateHikesTeam/

For a profile on each of the runners and more information head to the Ultimate Hikes website: www.ultimatehikes.co.nz

More on the Pateke project
All money raised will go to the Fiordland Conservation Trust, and specifically the Pateke Conservation project managed by the Department of Conservation, using proven methodology and providing excellent protection for the Pateke/Brown Teal duck.

The Pateke is endemic and is New Zealand's most endangered species of waterfowl. In March 2009 twenty sub-adult Pateke were released into the Arthur Valley (Fiordland National Park) to trial whether a predator control programme was sufficient to ensure their survival. This was the first large release of Pateke in the South Island. To date this has been one of the most successful releases of Pateke anywhere in the country.

The project partners the Fiordland Conservation Trust, Department of Conservation (DoC), Ultimate Hikes and Otago Community Trust as part of a nationwide programme to help prevent the endangered Pateke from extinction.


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