Skjellerup ride to raise cash for Christchurch
New Zealand's top short course speed skater Blake Skjellerup is combining his early season fitness training with raising funds for his upcoming northern winter season and a needy cause back home in Christchurch.
Starting on Monday, the now Melbourne-based Skjellerup will cycle from Melbourne to Sydney. It's a 900-kilometre trip on the Hume Highway, but, of course, Skjellerup can't go on the highway on his bike.
"I'll have to take the coastal roads, so it's about 1200km," he said.
Skjellerup will take eight days to complete the trip, including a rest day, and expects to spend seven hours a day in the saddle on average.
The training aspect is the main reason for the trip, though fundraising is a happy byproduct he said.
Always battling for funds himself, Skjellerup said he'd happily pick up any money he could to help with another busy northern winter which begins in Canada with two World Cup meets in October.
But he will give half of any money raised to the Christchurch Earthquake Children's trust, he said.
"I know how hard it is to get money so if there's anything I can do to help out back home then I'm happy to," Skjellerup said.
The upcoming season is another big one for the 27-year-old.
This is the season he needs to be trialling new things and taking the odd risk because next year when he's trying to qualify for the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics, there's no room to be trying anything new, he said.
Skjellerup confirmed he will return home in September for the New Zealand Championships, in Auckland.
To contribute to Skjellerup's fundraising efforts, visit his website, blakeskjellerup.com.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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