When Grant Kerr had to catch an early morning flight to the North Island last weekend to visit his ill mother, it wasn’t as simple as setting the alarm and heading to the airport.
Grant had to sneak in a 50km bike ride before heading to catch his flight shortly after 6am.
He is one of six individuals and 15 teams, who are taking part in the ‘50k a Day for the Month of May Challenge’ to raise funds for the Nelson Marlborough Rescue Helicopter Trust (NMRHT).
“When I got to the airport the flights were cancelled because of the fog so I’ll do it again this weekend, but I’ll take my bike with me and do my rides up north,” says Grant.
The challenge sees participants walk, run or bike 50km every day in May in a bid to raise $50,000 for the NMRHT.
By the end of the challenge participants will have travelled almost the length of New Zealand – 1600 kilometres.
Grant’s boss was flown to Wellington by the rescue helicopter last year after a medical event. So he thought it would be the perfect time to join the challenge.
“I thought ‘why not, it’s a good cause’.”
Grant says he has several different routes that he rides to get his kilometres up, each one taking between 1 hour 45 mins and two hours.
“It’s not too bad. I’m a cyclist anyway and I’ve been riding for quite a few years on and off but it’s just a bit more commitment.”
Outside of the challenge Grant says it would be easy to not go for a ride if it was a bad day or the weather wasn’t great.
“Now I’ve got to go.”
He says while it’s “fairly easy” to clock up 50km on a bike, it doesn’t come without challenges.
“Thursday was the worst day, I rode 15 kilometres and got two punctures, so I headed home, had a shower and did the rest in the garage with my bike on rollers.”
Grant says the support of his workplace – Ewing Poultry, has given him extra motivation.
“They are sponsoring me a total amount if I complete the challenge and he lets me finish half an hour early every day so I can head out on my bike.”
Grant has even done a 100km ride to “get a day in the bank” in case he can’t ride for a day.
“You’ve just got to keep going,” he says.
To donate to Grant or any of the participants go to https://givealittle.co.nz/event/50k