UK-based Kiwi Desiree Clarke-Noble is at the halfway mark in her series of grueling challenges in support of Surf Life Saving New Zealand (SLSNZ).
Her first challenge was on April 21 where she joined around 37,000 other runners in the London Marathon and on August 4 she joined around 20,000 other cyclists at Olympic Park in East London to take on the London-Surrey 100 mile bike ride.
The ride involved cycling from the Olympic Park all through London and Surrey to finish on the Mall in front of Buckingham Palace. "When the alarm went off at 5am I must say my excitement was a little dimmed but it built up again as I cycled through East London and joined hundreds of lycra-clad cyclists all heading in the same direction," she says.
Her clock time was seven hours and 46 minutes with an actual ride time of just under six hours and 15 minutes. "I took loads of pit stops on the way at various feed stations then met (husband) Jeff and some mates at the pub around mile 83 for a refreshing shandy! It was so nice to do an event that wasn't an actual 'race,' she says.
"Crossing the finish line in front of Buckingham Palace was brilliant. I was knackered, emotional and stoked that I'd completed my second challenge and blew Chris a kiss. I hope he's proud of me."
Desiree is undertaking four different challenges in memory of her older brother Chris who drowned last year. Christopher Perreau drowned in Mokihinui on the West Coast in January 2012 and lifeguards from the Buller Surf Life Saving Club responded very quickly and recovered Chris's body.
"Though nothing could be done to save Chris, the team from Buller Surf Life Saving Club worked heroically to recover his body within hours. This meant we could have Chris at home with us to say our goodbyes, goodbyes that were tragically many years too soon, but were incredibly healing for all of Chris's family and friends," she says.
She has been hard at work fundraising and says all donations will go directly to Surf Life Saving New Zealand. So far she has raised over £2,000.
Desiree has little time to rest as next up, on August 31, she will be competing in the Vitruvian Half Ironman which involves a 1.9km swim, an 85km bike ride, followed by a 21km run- all in one day.
Desiree's final challenge will be in October when she will take part in the Pembrokeshire Coast Challenge, which involves running 42km a day for three days along the Pembrokeshire Coast.
To follow Desiree's adventure and see more photos, visit her fundraising blog page at challengesforchris.wordpress.com