Up for a challenge? Then consider the Karioi Fundraiser Trek for Atea.

A growing group of locals and visitors will soon be pulling on their hiking boots to tackle the 43-kilometre circuit around Mount Karioi — and it’s all to help out a local two-year old who’s fighting cancer.

Atea Kahutapu Haenga – Te Wheoro was recently diagnosed with a Wilms’ tumour in her right kidney. After undergoing successful surgery to remove the kidney, she is now undergoing regular chemotherapy treatment, and travels frequently to both Auckland and Hamilton hospitals. Funds raised from the walk will go towards helping the family with their ongoing transport costs.

The idea for the trek initially came from Dave Hanna, who posted it on the Raglan NZ Facebook page. Support quickly spread and now around 70 people are expected to take part, with some members of Atea’s family flying in from Australia especially for the event. Initially scheduled for February the walk has been pushed back to 23 March, when the weather should be cooler.

As the event has grown in size, so too have the organisational requirements. Traffic control will be in place around the circuit and organisers are also on the lookout for medical personnel to help out on the day.

Those taking part are expected to find sponsors, with $1 per kilometre a suggested target. And they’ll also need to get training! It’s hoped that everyone will walk to a 12-minute per kilometre pace on the day, meaning the entire circuit should take around ten hours to compete. Walkers can take part in teams, but breaks will be short.

In order to meet the physical requirements of the trek, organisers are recommending that participants start committing to regular two to three kilometre walks with bigger distances interspaced in between.

Are you up for the challenge? To take part, register your interest on the Raglan NZ Facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/raglan.nz (head to the Events tab) or give Dave a ring on 825 8669 (work).
If you would like to make a donation to assist Atea and her family, account details can be found on the Raglan NZ Facebook page, or pop into Westpac Raglan and make a donation over the counter.

Emma Brooks