Challenges for Chris- race two of four

Wednesday, 24 July 2013
Desiree 1

Time is flying by for UK-based Kiwi Desiree Clarke-Noble who is undertaking a 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 next up, on August 4, she will undertake challenge number two of four 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.

Desiree has already raised close to £2,000 for SLSNZ and she says she's very grateful to everyone for their donations. "Absolutely all money raised goes in full to SLSNZ and at the current exchange rate, that's close to two New Zealand dollars for every pound," she says.

On the morning of August 4 Desiree will join around 20,000 other cyclists at Olympic Park in East London to take on the London-Surrey 100 mile bike ride. "It's been very hot here so I hope it's a bit cooler on the day, she says.

"I'm aiming to finish on the Mall in front of Buckingham Palace around seven hours later. I shall give the royal baby a wave as I pedal past...and if they're still debating boys names I thoroughly recommend George," she says.

Then there will hardly be time to rest as later this month, 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.

Desiree says she feels really glad that she can raise some money in Chris's name even though she's so far from home.

Those based in the UK will be able to spot Desiree in a BBC campaign for the event. She, along with other participants who are riding for a compelling reason, will be the faces of all the BBC coverage over the weekend of August 3-4. "If you have really good eyesight you'll spot me in the intro and outro montage of cyclists who are taking part in the event for causes very special to them," she says.

Keep an eye out on our website and Facebook page closer to the time for the footage.

To follow Desiree's adventure, visit her blog and fundraising page at