This weekend the racing starts – and there’s not a V8 to be seen.
In contrast to the smell of petrol there’s plenty of fresh air as corporate hot-shots navigate New Zealand’s back blocks.
Instead of navigating intranets, teams of four will traverse approximately 40km of off road trails, running and cycling their way to the finish line, where the winners take the chequered flag after six or more hours of rugged racing.
The Great Adventure Race to Cure Kids is in its 10th year, this time centred around Kawakawa, and has already raised over $310,000 from this year’s event for child health research.
And at the front of the pack will be Theta, which won the I.T. cup in 2012 at its first attempt.
Racer and Theta consultant Jon Wardrop says: "It has been great team building as our work colleagues have become support crew, transporting snack-fuel food and essential race equipment from our well-tested mountain bikes to our not so rosy-smelling running shoes.”
Team member and Theta I.T. consultant Alan Moore says the hard part is the preparation for the race.
“We’ve spent a lot of time prepping maps and routes to create a challenging training programme across a variety of terrain, and the whole office – not just the four-person team – has got behind the cause.”
The Cure Kids slogan is ‘Because pain is temporary, but a cure for kids is forever’ and the Theta team admits its training experience only offered a small glimpse of the true pain and grit that many families experience on a daily basis when dealing with life-threatening illnesses.
“We can’t help individual families,” says Julia and Alan Moore and Theta team-mates Jon Wardrop and Adrian Simpson.
“But we can help raise money to keep those illnesses at bay, and perhaps one day find a cure.”
This year, Theta will compete against well-known I.T. corporates such as Microsoft, Simpl and Cisco to defend its I.T. cup, and not just in the bush but at the bank.
While the racers and their logistical support crew have been pulling on their running shorts to train, Theta’s staff have been having their own race – to beat its fundraising tally from last year.
So far its hard work and the generosity of the donors it’s reached have raised over $13,000 for Cure Kids, $2000 more than it raised last year.
Theta CEO Rob Lee says the whole company has thrown itself into the challenge: "Everyone can contribute to the best of their ability, not just by running but by putting in time and money, to share the adventure across the company.
"We are very proud to be competing alongside all the other companies that support the worthiest of causes and we all appreciate the need to raise money to fund the knowledge and time that’s needed for such vital research and development.
"Doing something tough feels just right for Cure Kids.
"We are running on their behalf doing it just as tough as they do, because in the end it’s all about the kids.”
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