If it's Christmas it must be Timaru and a well-earned beer for determined Wellington student Emma Daken.
The 20-year-old Victoria University political science student will spend Christmas Day and Boxing Day, after 55 days on the road, in Timaru in her quest to set a record as youngest New Zealander to walk the length of the country – and to raise funds for Cystic Fibrosis research.
She gave up all her Victoria University holiday break so she could complete the arduous walk – and has been walking marathon distances most days.
She is expected to end her 2200km, 72-day journey in Bluff on January 9.
So far she has raised about $23,500 in donations, well short of the $50,000 target, but she was not discouraged.
Still with more than 400km to go she said she was enjoying herself and would definitely do another.
Miss Daken has suffered had shin splints (since Hamilton), blisters, a virus, back pain and has nearly worn through three pairs of shoes since leaving Cape Reinga on November.
"I am feeling good and can't wait to have a beer and relax on Christmas Day."
While in Timaru she will stay with local MP Jo Goodhew.
Jucy Rentals is sponsoring Daken on her walk with a campervan and a car for the journey.
Her inspiration for selecting the charity was from her contact with a close friend who suffers from the condition. Her driver on the walk also has cystic fibrosis.
The condition is an inherited disorder that affects mucus, making it thick and sticky, blocking the tiny tubes and ducts of various organs. It causes respiratory problems and malabsorption due to pancreatic insufficiency.
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