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Charity challenge for NZ resellers

The challenge has gone out for the New Zealand reseller channel to get in behind the Great Adventure Race to Cure Kids.

Steve Haddock and Jennifer Rutherford talk to Heather Wright about why they’re passionate about the event – and how the reseller community can get involved.

Steve Haddock and Jennifer Rutherford have thrown down the gauntlet to the New Zealand reseller channel as they attempt to pull together the largest ever number of tech teams for the 2013 Great Adventure Race to Cure Kids.

The annual event sees teams of four trekking, running, mountain biking and traversing waterways for around 40km. The 2013 North Island event, in April, will be held in the Hunua Ranges, while the South Island event, in March, will be around Queenstown.

Last year saw 12 IT companies competing in the event, which also featured for the first time the IT Cup. The tech teams raised more than $120,000.

This year, Rutherford, Cisco New Zealand regional manager, and Haddock, EMC general manager of channels, have set their sights higher, wanting at least 20 tech teams involved and  $200,000 raised.

“I think that’s a realistic and good number,” Rutherford says.

She says the event has plenty of benefits for both the individuals involved and the companies. “From a company perspective there are massive benefits of having people bonding, working together and doing something fun but also raising money for a cause.

"It’s a good way to do corporate social responsibility, and some networking and branding as well,” she says.

Some companies provide the $10,000 minimum donation per team, and Rutherford notes that some companies spend that much on ‘team bonding’ events. “This way you get to wrap up team bonding, fun, employee morale and charity all in one.”

After completing eight of the events herself, Rutherford says she has seen firsthand the many benefits. “I’ve loved every event I’ve done. And I’ve learned heaps about the colleagues I’ve been racing with.”

In Rutherford’s case, that extends to learning to listen to others on the team. She wryly recounts one race where she didn’t listen to an engineer on the team.

“But he was right damn it. I learned to listen to engineers,” she jokes.

“And you get so much respect for other team members.”

Haddock says his interest in the event is two-fold. “On the personal side, my daughter has been through cancer, but also, giving something back, without expecting anything in return is a great thing.”

Next year marks the tenth anniversary of the race, which raises funds for Cure Kids and ongoing research to find cures for such things as childhood leukaemia and other cancers, heart diseases, cystic fibrosis, asthma and Sudden Infant Death Syndrome.

Both agree that teams should ideally be in place before Christmas, to allow for training and fundraising.

The course takes six to 10 hours to complete, and Rutherford says training requirements aren’t as huge as some would expect.

“You could get by on three hours training a week, with a five hour endurance session once a fortnight,” she says.

Haddock however, advocates six to 10 hours a week of training. “You want to be able to do it comfortably.”

* More information on the race can be found at and check out Techday for regular updates on the Great Adventure Race to Cure Kids, including advice from Haddock and Rutherford on training and fundraising for the event