Mongol madness for Mangawhai couple
Navigating through foreign backroads across 12,000 miles of unknown, rough terrain in an ultra-cheap ‘dunga’ of a car with no set route or knowledge of any foreign languages may not be everyone’s idea of fundraising for a worthy cause, but for two intrepid Mangawhai locals it was ‘the only way to do it!’
Emma Kent and Corey Radford are taking on their first fundraising adventure, the radical Mongol Rally, to raise funds for an organisation they feel strongly connected to, the Mangawhai Activity Zone (MAZ).
“Corey and I have both lost friends through suicide,” Kent says. “We're about giving youth something to look forward to, somewhere to go that is safe and encourages kids to focus on outdoor activities. We feel MAZ brings the community closer, where our local kids and families can come together.”
Funds raised will go towards building an outdoor gym and concert sound shell at the MAZ, as well as further improvements for the skatepark.
After flying to London in June 2018 the couple, in keeping with rally rules, will purchase a ‘farcically small one litre vehicle’ for $300. They will then head east through 24 European and Asian countries, towards the finish line at the Siberian town of Ulan Ude.
Other rules include having no on-the-road back-up, ensuring participants have to deal with problems as they arise and interact with locals for help. A minimum of NZ $2000 also has to be raised for a charity.
Far from being a holiday, the rally is promoted as an extreme adventure, without planned itineraries or travel routes, where getting lost and ‘unleashing the unexpected’ is encouraged. However, due to the perilous nature of the wild ride, the venture comes with a danger warning, as in past events several participants have been severely injured and even killed.
Although not exactly laughing in the face of danger, Radford, a builder, and Kent, a caregiver, are philosophical about the dangers involved and say they are ready and willing to embrace the unknown.
“We’re excited about the extreme nature of this adventure,” Radford says. “There is an element of risk in every part of life so we aren't concerned, it's just a matter of being sensible and keeping our Kiwi ingenuity with us the whole way… she'll be right.
“Of course there are concerns, but these are to be embraced as part of the challenge,” Kent says. “There can be no great accomplishment without risk.”
The pair have had several overseas excursions together, spending two months back-packing around South East Asia and touring America’s West Coast in a campervan for a month. Safe to say the couple have ‘no qualms about adventure’.
“We know that our trip might not work out and we may get lost,” Radford says. “But maybe seeing that everything does work out will be the best adventure ever.”