Mike King embarks on epic triathlon for Gumboot Friday

In News3 MinutesBy NZ Trucking magazineFebruary 10, 2023

Three of New Zealand’s top athletes, Rick Wells, Ian Jones, and Richie Barnett, along with Gumboot Friday founder and friend of the road transport industry Mike King, will embark on a 16-day triathlon to raise awareness for Gumboot Friday.

The event, known as the Due Drop Hope Challenge, is an endurance test designed to raise awareness and funds for Gumboot Friday, a free counselling service for anyone 25 and under in New Zealand.

Starting 14 February at Cape Reinga, the Hope Challenge route will take the group down the east coast of New Zealand, and involves running, swimming, biking, and kayaking for 16 days non-stop. The journey will conclude on the steps of Parliament in Wellington on 1 March.

Mike King, a mental health advocate and founder of the Key to Life Charitable Trust, I AM HOPE and Gumboot Friday, is leading the Challenge.

He is joined by Commonwealth Games gold medalist and world triathlon champion Rick Wells, All Black legend and Ironman competitor Ian Jones, and former New Zealand rugby league captain Richie Barnett.

The athletes will hold community events daily along the route, starting with Mangonui on 14 February, and stopping in Russell, One Tree Point, Auckland, Waiheke, Whangamata, Papamoa, Whakatane, Waihau Bay, Waipiro Bay, Gisborne, Napier, Taihape, Foxton, Paraparaumu, and ending at Parliament on 1 March.

The Due Drop Hope Challenge is being organised in collaboration with the Key to Life Charitable Trust, which was founded by King in 2016.

The trust aims to provide mental health support and services to those in need, and the Hope Challenge will help raise vital funds for these initiatives.

Mental health is an issue that affects hundreds of thousands of kids in New Zealand and is seriously underfunded, so King and his fellow athletes’ efforts to raise awareness and provide support through Gumboot Friday are making a real difference.

The Hope Challenge promises to be both physically and mentally challenging, but also one that will have a lasting impact on the mental health of New Zealanders.

To support Mike King, Rick Wells, Ian Jones, and Richie Barnett and the Hope Challenge, you can visit the official website at hopechallenge.co.nz, where you can make a donation or find out more about the event and the Key to Life Charitable Trust.