Challenges for Chris- past the halfway mark

Monday, 9 September 2013
Desiree 1

UK-based Kiwi Desiree Clarke-Noble has passed 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.

Last weekend, 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.

Desiree is undertaking 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.

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 £2,500 (over $5,000 NZ dollars).

Desiree says the weather was kind and the conditions were perfect for the Vitruvian challenge. She camped out the night before and managed to get a pretty good sleep before the alarm went off at 5am.

Her swim time was 44 minutes, then she jumped on the bike covering a couple of 40 kilometre laps in just over three hours. "Then it was off the bike and into the plod where I gained quite a bit of ground with plenty of "Go Kiwi" shouts along the way, thanks to my very bright New Zealand top," she says.

Desiree says her total time was five hours and 54 minutes which was way off her personal best. "But I was happy to finish with a smile on my face and another challenge in the bag for my big bro," she says.

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. "I'd better get running!" she says.

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