My Activity Tracking
I'm fundraising for The Royal Hospital for Women Foundation
On the 8-9th Feb, I'll be taking part in the Coast to Coast endurance event in New Zealand. This iconic event starts on Kumara Beach, on the West Coast and traverses the width of the South Island, ending on New Brighton Beach, Christchurch on the East Coast, crossing 243km over the main divide and Arthurs Pass, including a mountain marathon, 150km Cycle and 70km Kayak.
In doing this, I have decided to raise much needed funds for The Royal Hospital for Women Foundation. Every day at The Royal, a baby's life begins, a baby's life is saved, a woman's life is saved and new research creates miracles.
Kristina and I witnessed this first hand only 3 months ago, with the birth of our son Alfie. Kristina had some difficulties in the last few weeks of pregnancy, meaning we spent a lot of time at the Royal and the level of care we received was incredible. I cannot think of a more worthy cause and I pass on my heartfelt gratitude to this wonderful institution.
Thanks for your support and a few reflections on our adventure!Saturday 23rd Feb
I just wanted to say a massive thankyou to everyone who sponsored me and share a few reflections of the event itself. We exceeded my sponsorship target raising over $3,300, which will be shared across the Royal's Maternal Fetal Medicine and Newborn Intensive Care Units.
The nerves were high before we set off from Kumara Beach, given neither Will or I really had any idea what we'd signed up to and we quickly realised we were probably the least prepared competitors of the whole bunch. Everyone seemed to either be a professional endurance athlete, have completed the event before, or at the very least had taken a guided tour down the 70km Kayak leg. Anyway we were at the start line and we'd spent a heap of cash on getting there and training so there was no chance we could tell our other half’s we didn’t really fancy it.
At 7am, we set off with a short 2km run from the beach up to the bike transition, collected our bikes and started a 55km cycle to the Mountain Run transition. This leg went well, we formed a large pack of 60 or 70 riders and just stuck ourselves in the middle of the bunch averaging 30km/hr, arriving at the run transition in 1hr 50mins. Still feeling fresh we dropped the bikes, put on our runners and set off on what I’d assumed was going to be a sort of hilly path, taking us to the end of day 1 to meet Kris, Sally and Alfie. Maybe we'd meet them for a late lunch and spend the afternoon chilling in the grass at Klondyke Corner. Not so.
The mountain run was more like a scramble with 17km of steep mountain river to navigate with no paths and over 35 river crossings. Pretty epic, but really hard. Luckily you can drink straight from the river, so there was little chance of dehydration, but it was really slow going, picking lines across the waist deep river and clambering over human sized boulders for 17km. Once we passed Goats Pass we followed a sort of muddy path and then empty river bed for the remaining 15km to the finish. We missed lunch, getting in at around 4.30pm after almost 5hrs of 'running'.
After a pretty poor night’s sleep, a combination of my airbed having a hole in it, not really being able to eat and nerves about the kayak leg the next morning we were up and off again, starting with a 15km cycle down to the start of the kayak. This bit, it's safe to say we were a little concerned about, given we'd done the absolute minimum requirement of white-water training, (2 days, 3 months earlier) on a slow moving river in Northern NSW, Australia. Anyway, once we were moving we settled in and it was fantastic. Stunning, untouched and remote scenery, crystal clear water, huge rock faces to navigate around, including a 35km section called 'The Gorge' with some pretty technical rapids and 100m high cliffs either side. Will and I managed to navigate all of the danger spots without toppling in, but did fall out on two innocuous bends where we were caught out by a joining channel and flipped out of the kayak. After 6.5hrs of paddling we made it to the end, such a welcome sight to see Kris and Alfie, scoff a quick sausage roll and give the blood a chance to get back into my numb bum and legs!
Just a 75km cycle into a strong head wind and we’d reach the finish. The last cycle leg went really well, we managed to form a small group with a Kiwi called Whitey and an odd, quite bossy Swedish woman and the four of us rode as a group all the way to Christchurch, taking it in turns at the front, fighting the head wind and pushing the speed whilst the rest drafted behind. Spirits were high as we neared Christchurch.
Crossing the finishing line at New Brighton Beach was a huge relief and a fantastic sense of achievement, giving little Alfie a cuddle and inhaling a burger made it all worthwhile!
A huge thank you to our support crew Heather and Nick, they epitomise the Kiwi generosity, after writing on a website notice board that we were looking for a support crew they came to the rescue, driving down from Wellington to follow Will and I around all weekend giving us motivational speeches, shoving gels in our pockets, setting up our bikes and kayak at transitions and collecting our sweaty gear, we couldn’t have done it without them.
The event itself was the hardest physical challenge I’ve done, the Kiwis are bloody fit. The scenery was stunning and the atmosphere throughout was fantastic, with everyone offering each other support to get through the various stages.
Thank you to my Sponsors
Richard Unsworth And Greg Dean
This sounds truly horrible and we think ur mad.!!! R and G x
Lucy, Justin & William Kinsey
Good luck! The Royal were fantastic to us so thank you for doing what you are for this great place and people that work there.
James And Laura
Good luck to you both! Clancy and Laura
Your Fave Thornton
Go Jonny go go go!
Adam And Tali
Really great cause. Good luck mate! X
Good stuff mate!
Well done Jonny and Will, you guys smashed it 👊🏼 See i was just waiting to check you finished before we sponsored 😉 Love Annie and James x
Tim And Noelle Thornton
We will be thinking of you and also of Kris and little Alfie and all that we owe The Royal.
David + Bridget Attia
Such an amazing challenge, for a brilliant cause! Sending all our love + support , Mum + Dad x
Eddie & Kim
Anything to get out of changing the nappies!! Good luck on the fabulous challenge. Eddie & Kim
Helen & Obrie
Enjoy it!! Lots of love from us you nutter :) x
Tom And Lauren
Good luck Jonny, enjoy it - so jealous. A great cause
Good luck, mate. Our daughter was born at The Royal, couldn’t agree with your words more!
Good luck Jonny, such a great event for the most worthy cause. Have fun! Xxx
Christa And Jon Alport
Christie, Micha And Lili
Good luck! Such an amazing challenge and for a wonderful cause x
Good luck Jonny, what an amazing challenge, no doubt you will smash it. Lots of love from Sam Alice and Conor x
David & Trish Auerbach
Tim, Katie And Theo Hill
Mate best of luck with the race and congrats on hitting your sponsorship goal.. A great cause!
Daniel & Caroline Ball
Go Jonny! Great cause! Have an amazing time.
Yeah Jonny! Amazing challenge for a fantastic cause. Sorry I can't be there on the rescue board to keep you safe on the rapids. Enjoy xx
I'm mainly donating in relief that I'm not doing it... Good luck - though with all the kayak training you've done over the last year you'll be sweet as...
What an amazing charity - they deserve all that you can raise and more. Good luck- you’ll smash it. Jane and Ian xx
Good luck Jonboy. The UTA was a breeze compared to this.
Good Luck Jonny!! Best get working out, no dad bods at the finish line!
Andrew & Lauren Van Heel
Great cause and good luck with the challenge. Andrew & Lauren
Good luck and enjoy!
Good Luck Jonny!!
All the best mate. Great cause you are supporting too! Good luck.
Good luck. Tom’s not jealous at all. Love Sarah, Tom and Bonnie xx
Dan & Kate
Good luck Jonboy! Gutted not to be able to join you for this one. Have a great race. Great cause
Fleur & James
Good work Jonny! You're an animal. We're very impressed. xxx
All the best Jonathen
Good Luck, Jonny !
Best of luck Jonny - rather you than me!!
Ems, Tobes, Maddy And Flo
Go Jonny, pretty impressed and you haven’t even set off yet! Great cause for that beautiful little bear xx
Good luck slug!
Good lucky Jonny, smash it!!
Good luck, Jonny!
Good Luck Bigg Dogg. Serious respect for doing this! x
Enjoy the experience
Good luck Jonny ☀️. What a challenge, you legend!!
Well done Jonny - accidentally made a donation of $50 direct to the Hospital so here is a bit extra for your page Steve and Sarah
Welldone for completing it! What an epic mission!!! Very impressive
Best of luck Jonny! Andy and Ann