Challenges for Chris complete

Wednesday, 30 October 2013

It's been a hard year physically and emotionally for UK-based Kiwi Desiree Clarke-Noble but she has done it!

She has completed four events in her series of gruelling challenges in memory of her brother Chris and 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.

Then, she completed the Vitruvian half Ironman distance triathlon through Leicestershire which involved a 1.9 kilometre swim and 85 kilometre cycle, topped off by a 21 kilometre run. And finally, the weekend before last, she completed the Pembrokeshire Coast Challenge, which involved running 42 kilometres a day for three days (a total of 126 kilometres) along the rugged Welsh coast.

Desiree decided to undertake these four different challenges in memory of her older brother 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 says the Pembrokeshire Coast Challenge was by far the hardest event she has ever done. Of the 69 people who started, only 46 finished.

It took her 24 hours and 43 minutes in total; seven hours and 16 minutes on day one, eight hours and 29 minutes on day two and eight hours and 57 minutes on day three, compared to her usual road marathon time of between three hours 25 minutes and four hours.

 "There was rain, there was mud, there were 30 plus mile-an-hour winds and my God were there hills like I have never encountered and never want to again! But there was also sunshine, awesome scenery, seals and seal pups, amazing wildlife, friendly camaraderie and delicious soup. Best of all, there was the finish line and the end of my challenges for Chris. It's been a hard year physically and emotionally but I have done it," she says.

To read more about Desiree's adventures, or for information on how to support her cause, visit her fundraising blog page at

For more information, please contact:

Lisa Honeybone, Media & Communications Specialist, SLSNZ
Phone 09 303 9335 or 0276 488 823