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Saturday, 23 March 2019 10:49 pm

Trail run raises $25,000 for Ronald McDonald House

Apr 19th, 2018 | By | Category: Editor's Picks, Front Page Layout, Lead Story, News

Students and staff from Palmerston North Boys’ High School in Island Bay after completing Te Araroa Trail Challenge.

David Barwick’s legs are “buggered”, but all he wants to talk about after running into Wellington is the effort his students put into running from Cape Reinga to the capital.

On Tuesday 25 students and four staff from Palmerston North Boys’ High School arrived in Island Bay’s Shorland Park, having set off from Cape Reinga 15 days earlier.

The group ran 1700km through the North Island as part of the School’s Te Araroa Trail Challenge, which raised funds for Ronald McDonald House.

Sports and cultural dean and brainchild of the challenge, Mr David Barwick, says the school and its students were often beneficiaries of fundraising so they wanted to give something back.

“A lot of the boys who have taken part over the last 15 days are not great runners but they are boys that want to do something,” Barwick says.

“They wanted to do something for the community so that’s been massive.”

Te Araroa is New Zealand’s Trail stretching from Cape Reinga in the far north to Bluff in the deep south.

Around $25,000 has been raised for Ronald McDonald House so far and Barwick says the support they have received has been phenomenal.

“We raised $700 this morning just from a small collection in Wellington.”

An everydayhero page has been setup for donations and the group carried out street collections throughout their journey.

Year 13 student Richard Bell was one of those inspired by the notion of giving back.

“Mr Barwick approached us and said this is what we’re going to do,” Bell says.

“He came up with it and it’s such a good idea.”

While Bell rates running through the Whakapapa Chateau from the Tongariro Crossing as his highlight of the challenge, he says the toughest part was running over the hills and into Wellington.

Barwick says it’s been a big effort from the group of four staff who were heavily involved in organising and securing sponsorship.

“It’s been a pipeline dream for the last 18 months and then in November last year we got it rolling,” Barwick says.

Despite having personally run about 300km over the last 15 days, Barwick is eyeing up future achievements.

“We may look at the South Island as the next challenge.

“It may not be next year but we have thrown the idea around.”

But for now Barwick is looking forward to spending time with his family.

“It’s been over two weeks away without them so that’s been pretty hard.”


David Barwick (second from right) and students arrive at Shorland Park in Island Bay after completing the 1700km journey from Cape Reinga.

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