Future Ride – “10 Days of Hell” – Coronet Peak, Queenstown – Date TBC

In the early 2000’s Coronet Peak Ski Field in Queenstown hosted the Compaq/HP 50k of Coronet charity ski endurance race.  Teams raced through the night to complete the required 101 laps in just over 16 hrs.

I am going to replicate this 50k race on my mountain bike.  However I don’t have the luxury of getting the ski lift to the top.  I have to ride my bike up and down the Coronet Peak enduro trail 101 times to complete the 50 kilometres of vertical ascent/descent.  While this may be possible in a lifetime, the challenge I have set myself is to do this within ten consecutive days, in the heat of summer, and by myself (with hopefully some friends and family to support me at times).

To have any chance of achieving this I will have to turn my body into a ‘climbing machine’ between now and then.  At 82 kg I am far from that!  However I have already made some major changes to my lifestyle to get into the best shape I can be at 43 years old to have the slightest chance of completing the 101 laps.  Even then, I still don’t know if it will be enough.

The purpose of this ride, like my 2015 ride, is to raise awareness about motor neurone disease and fundraise for the Motor Neurone Disease Association of New Zealand (MND NZ).  Please click on My Dad page to see why helping the association is so important to me (and my family).

This ride fundraises for the MND NZ in two different ways.  You can pledge your support by sponsoring me on a per lap basis (to a maximum of 101 laps).  For example, if you pledge $1 per lap, and I complete 38 laps within the 10 days, then you pay the MND NZ $38.  Or, alternatively, you can make a one-off donation.  Either way, all funds raised by pledges or donations go direct to the MND NZ to help those with the disease.

NZ Cycle Challange
Cape Reinga to Bluff – Feb 2015


In early 2015 I rode the length of of New Zealand, unsupported, and off road as much as possible to promote public awareness of motor neurone disease and to fundraise for the Motor Neurone Disease Association of New Zealand (MND NZ).

The ride was a huge success.  I rode close to 4,000km in 35 days, appeared in numerous newspaper articles throughout the country, social media, television and fundraised $43,000 for the MND NZ.

I also got to ride my bike on some amazing trails, rode with some incredibly motivating people and ticked off one of my longstanding ‘bucket’ list things to do.  It wasn’t easy being away from family for so long, but it was a true adventure.

A bi-product of the ride I wasn’t expecting was being nominated for the South Island finalist for TSB Fundraisier of the Year Award, Kiwibank Local Hero Award recipient and  Kiwibank New Zealander of the Year Award nominee.


The Disease



Many people have never heard about this disease before, or know about it but haven’t grasped what it does. Motor neurone disease is the name given to a group of diseases in which the nerve cells – neurones – that control the muscles that enable us to move, speak, breathe and swallow undergo degeneration and die. With no nerves to activate them, muscles gradually weaken and waste away, causing increasing loss of mobility in the limbs, and difficulties with speech, swallowing and breathing and, eventually, death.

Nobody knows what causes motor neurone disease, and researchers are yet to find any known drug that controls the degeneration. Most cases occur for no apparent reason in people without a family history of the disease.

Motor neurone disease is also commonly known as ‘MND’, Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, or ALS.


Photo: Professor Stephen Hawkings, c/- The Stephen Hawking Foundation, London.




My Dad


Imagine knowing that your body is about to start robbing itself of the ability to do everything you want it to do?

At first, my Dad never thought the weakness in his hands and arms might be anything other than the onset of approaching old age.

However, five years ago he was diagnosed with motor neurone disease and his life changed forever.  The doctor told him to do everything he wanted to do before it’s too late… to travel … to enjoy his family and friends … to achieve those ‘bucket list items’ that mean so much to him.

That is the reality anyone who is diagnosed with MND has to face.  It is a death sentence. There is no cure. You have to learn to cope with it.

This year, soon after his 72nd birthday, my Dad passed away.  He was confined to a wheelchair, and needed help with just about everything, from getting out of bed in the morning, eating and going to the bathroom.  It was not the life he wanted to live.



The Charity


The Charity - Motor Neurone Disease Association of New Zealand (MNDA NZ)

These are some of the faces of the Motor Neurone Disease Association of NZ (MND NZ).

The MND NZ is a small not-for-profit organisation whose main purpose is to help support people with motor neurone disease and their carers.

They have fieldworkers around the country who provide information, advocacy and emotional support and help people have access to the right health services at the right time.

They, like many small not-for-profit organisations, struggle to attract sufficient funding to survive.  They have been immensely helpful to my parents over the last five years. RaceAgainstTime is about helping them, as they are at the coalface helping those with the disease.

For further information please visit the MND NZ website: www.mnda.org.nz

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