Despite being over 18,000kms from home, London-based Kiwi Desiree Clarke-Noble is taking part in a series of grueling challenges throughout 2013 to raise money for Surf Life Saving New Zealand. And she's doing it all in honour of her oldest 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 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.
So far Desiree has already raised over £1,500 and she's only just getting started.
Her first challenge was on April 21 where she joined around 37,000 other runners in the London Marathon. Desiree says while her thoughts were of Chris, she was also thinking of the terrible events that had just taken place a week earlier at the Boston Marathon.
Desiree says the race was very tough and she finished in three hours, 57 minutes and 53 seconds, which was outside her personal best. "But given the heat compared to sub-zero training conditions all winter I was pleased to finish in one piece - a lot of runners collapsed. The crowds this year were the largest I've seen, there must've been over 700,000 all along the course, so that really lifted the spirits and kept me going," she says.
Desiree's next challenge is in August when she will be taking part in the London to Surrey 160km bike ride and then later the same 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.
Her 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.
She is incurring all costs associated with these events and all funds raised will be donated in full to Surf Life Saving New Zealand.
To follow her adventure visit her blog and fundraising page at www.challengesforchris.wordpress.com