The third assault of the Central Otago Rail Trail by Rural Women New Zealand at the end of April was an awesome event to have been part of, says organiser Pat Macaulay.
“All the participants agreed that you could easily add a fourth ‘F’ to the challenge title – ‘Fitness, Fun, Friendship and Fantastic experience!”
Ninety-two members and friends joined in the three day event, including 28 walkers, 54 bikers and their support crew. Participants came from all parts of the country and as far afield as Australia, including a team of three sisters who took up the challenge for the third time.
Central Otago turned on perfect weather for the riders and walkers, who received a special welcome to the area by Mayoress Bernie Lepper, and Daphne Hull, chair of the Otago Central Rail Trail Trust. Mayor Tony Lepper also joined the bikers and walkers during their lunch break at Galloway.
Celebrity chef Jo Seager gave a talk at Omakau about her involvement with Hospice New Zealand, and a charity auction raised approximately $4,000, which will be shared between the Otago and Southland Hospices.
Jo Seager also joined the group on their visit to the International Curling Rink at Naseby for an evening of fun on and off the ice.
Leaving Ranfurly Railway Station on Sunday morning, Maniototo baritone and high country farmer David McAtamney, sent everyone on their way to Middlemarch with a rousing rendition of “Oh What a Beautiful Morning”.
Local East-Otago Waikouaiti member, Aileen Winmill, took part with a team of friends from the area. With Aileen’s initiative a further $1,000 was raised for the Otago Hospice as four local businesses sponsored this team.