Wānaka Sun       

Pork Pie Charity Run passes through Cromwell

Posted at 6:00am Thursday 01 Apr, 2021 | By Pat Deavoll editor@thewanakasun.co.nz

Fifty teams of intrepid Kiwis in their minis passed through Cromwell on Tuesday afternoon as part of an epic 2350km journey from Paihia to Invercargill to raise money for children in need. 

Included in the cavalcade were two teams from Wānaka: Team Lake Wānaka and Team Minicar-Drona.

The Pork Pie Charity Run for KidsCan loosely follows the route taken by the Blondini Gang in the 1981 Kiwi classic ‘Goodbye Pork Pie'. 

“It's a true test of endurance for the cars and their drivers,” organiser Tracey Brake said. “We've got Minis from 1964 with 850cc motors. Travelling long distances in a classic Mini is a bit like being a marble in a biscuit tin. But it is so much fun.   

“There are moments which take your breath away because the country is so stunning, and moments when you think, are we there yet? That rattle's getting worse! To get to the finish line you need a finely tuned sense of humour, a chiropractor on speed dial and an AA Plus membership - that's vital.”  

The teams come from all over New Zealand, and left Paihia on Friday March 26, travelling through Auckland, Taupō, Wellington, Christchurch, Franz Josef, and Queenstown before reaching Invercargill yesterday.  

The biennial event began in 2009. 2019's run raised more than $290,000 for KidsCan, which provides children living in hardship with food, jackets, shoes and health items, so nothing stops them from learning. 

“We get to have fun while we're doing something really important. If we can pull this off in a pandemic and achieve our target for the kids, I'll be so proud. It's so incredibly special,” Brake said. “This year we're also looking forward to bringing what business we can to those towns which are really suffering from a lack of tourism.” 

KidsCan's founder and CEO, Julie Chapman, will be driving the final leg for Team KidsCan with the charity's ambassador Jordan Watson.   

“We're so grateful to be the recipient of this wonderful, quintessentially Kiwi roadie,” Chapman said. “It's been an incredibly difficult year for vulnerable families around New Zealand, who have been hardest hit by the Covid-19 pandemic. Their children need our support more than ever, and I'd urge anyone who can support these crazy teams to please donate what you can - it makes such a difference.”  

En route, the Minis will visit Hampton Downs Motorsport Park, cruise through Horopito Motor Wreckers - Smash Palace, and test their small engines with laps of Highlands Motorsport Park in Cromwell.

Read edition 1020 of the Wānaka Sun here.

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