The crazy things you do for friends

19:22, Nov 29 2012

Last Sunday, I was standing on the highest point of the Port Hills.

I'd run out of water, my feet were muddy and blistered, my back was sunburnt and I'd accidentally put my hand in stinging nettle.

I only had one thought in my dehydrated head: Friends can convince you to do the craziest things.

I've had silver-tongued friends con me into things in the past- having a deadly shot of tequila, buying a dress that's a little too short, going on a date with a guy that looked a lot better in the dim light of the pub.

But my good workmate Rachel Young has really excelled herself by convincing me to do the most outrageous thing ever.

I'm going to walk 100km. Next April. Around Lake Taupo. Without stopping.


It's going to take an estimated 30 hours.

Rachel called me over to her desk one day a few months ago and explained she was organising a team of four to walk 100km to raise money for Oxfam and wanted me to join.

I ummed and ahhhhed when she said it would be "an incredibly rewarding and bonding experience". Sure it would be, but I find sitting watching TV marathons with a block of chocolate pretty rewarding too.

However, after she said we could consume a lot of yummy food as we walked and drink a lot afterwards, I agreed. She knows me so well.

Little did I know that:

a. She was serious.

b. It wasn't a relay of 4 x 25km walks. We each had to walk 100km together.

c. We'd have to spend months training.

Rachel is very motivated and it soon became clear (when she signed us up and paid the entry fee) that I'd actually have to go through with it.

I've never really thought of walking as an actual activity. My body just walks for me when I want it to (except if I've had those aforementioned tequila shots).

Our team consists of four reporters - myself, Rachel, Marc Greenhill and our intrepid West Coast correspondent Deidre Mussen. We're called The Press Sole Survivors - how could a bunch of journos resist a good pun?  

We had our first team training walk last weekend, climbing Mt Herbert. Already it highlighted a few areas we're going to have to work on. As I said, we got blistered, dehydrated and sunburnt.

The toenails of one girl who came with us are literally falling off.

Toenails aren't an essential part of human anatomy, right?

Our goal is to raise $4000 for the cause. If any of you are feeling generous and want to contribute (or laugh at us) visit our fundraising page.

As you can see it's looking a little meagre at the moment, with only my mum donating, so we've got a little bit of work to do ...

But if we're going to kill ourselves, and possibly each other, we may as well make it worthwhile.

Have you been convinced to do something incredibly crazy by a friend? Do you think we will survive our walk? Comment below, email me at or follow me on Twitter.

The Press