Heading down the final straight of a grueling bush marathon, the pain and exhaustion was evident on every face, followed quickly by the joy and elation of a job well done and a mission accomplished. The emotions on display were so well summed up by the words on every shirt “I was tough enough” and the mud, bruises and scratches told their own story.

These words were especially poignant when we consider that among the charities supported by this event are the Coromandel Rescue Helicopter Trust, and Kidscan. There seems to be something very noble about those who are tough enough physically putting themselves through such extremes while supporting those who are tough enough, but in such a different way such as enduring crushing poverty or a life changing accident.

‘I was tough enough’ – word on the t-shirts of competitors say it all!

Starting at dawn in the half dark for the ultra-marathon of 60 k’s, the runners hit the rugged Coromandel bush through some of the most challenging territory possible and were greeted by awesome views as the sun rose and the course hit some of the high points on the ranges. There was also a 42k marathon, a half marathon and a 14 km run/walk for those who wanted to be part of this event at differing fitness levels.

The Rapid Relief Team were glad to be supporting the event for the third time, providing our beef burgers, bottled water and soft drinks to the runners, support crew and organisers. Our team of young and dedicated volunteers also quickly found another pastime between food preparation, giving each participant a loud and enthusiastic welcome as they crossed the line.

After having to unfortunately cancel our participation in 2020 due to the Covid pandemic and the impending lockdown, it was great to be back out and getting involved. The volunteers love the chance to show their support of charitable events and to live their values and the vision of RRT of showing care and compassion to communities in times of need. The team gave up their time to serve willingly and behind the scenes each one completes food training and safety courses, as well as site specific inductions to ensure the service is always at the highest level.

Support from the sideline as a competitor nears the finish line!

The obvious joy that the volunteers got from serving the community was heartening for all. I once heard a quote, “The absolute secret of happiness is doing things for others”, and at the Surf 2 Firth event we saw this in all who were involved.

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