Maria and David Smiddy lived in New Zealand last year and they surprised the riders by flying in to see them on their final day as they rolled into Christchurch. Two short months later Maria succumbed to her battle against Pancreatic cancer. While I will not be there this year, see why below, I would dearly love to dedicate this first up blog to Maria and David. See photo below of these two beautiful people that we at Smiddy and the Mater Foundation, consider ourselves very fortunate to have come into our lives.
Smiddy Crew Will Bring Calm To Christchurch
Okay you have had a break since December from my blogs and now its New Zealand Smiddy time. As I sit here and write this blog my Smiddy workmates, Christian, Wendy, Cherie and Krista are busy packing gear, printing important forms, making last minute phone calls and replying to emails. It is a hive of activity and there is definitely an infectious buzz at Smiddy HQ. The second running of the Smiddy New Zealand Challenge is set to start this coming Sunday in the shaky city of Christchurch. With small aftershocks still hitting Christchurch after another major Quake hit a little over a month ago, the riders and road crew will be relieved once they clear the outskirts of the city and onto more stable grounds.
I have mixed feelings about this ride because for only the second time in ten years of Smiddy events I will not be participating this time around. Last year I was a late exclusion from the Midi Smiddy in May due to a back injury, and this year I put my hand up to not go, so that another Smiddy team member could experience what I was lucky enough to be part of last year. So therefore I am a little sad that I won’t get to share that wonderful Smiddy camaraderie with another awesome bunch of riders and road crew, but really happy knowing that the riders and crew will get that same experience whether I am there or not. Smiddy is in good hands!
What No Shark Writing The Blogs?
So you might be wondering who then will be writing the blogs? Well I am kick-starting the process and doing the first intro blog. Then once in New Zealand, our program manager in Cherie Nicolas, will take over. Cherie will be doing two days on the bike and three days as road crew, so she should bring a great perspective to the event. As well, I am sure, there will be one or two guest blog writers from the riders. So without further ado I would like to introduce you to the riders and road crew, that will be entertaining you over five days, in hopefully sunny and not shaky, New Zealand.
Intro To Our Awesome Riders!
A big welcome to the following riders and while it may seem like a small field, and it is by Smiddy standards, these guys and girls are all on board to raise as much money as possible. To date we are sitting at $50,000 and are confident of bringing in another $25,000. This is simply amazing for such a small group of riders and they all should feel justifiably proud of their efforts. Congratulations to all our riders but especially to Stephen and Tim Russell, (Father & Son) and Ian Bisson, who all work at Russell’s Law Firm and are our top three highest fundraisers to date with over $8000 each.
Amanda de Lucy
Not To Mention Our Wonderful Road Crew
Next I would like to introduce you to our road crew as listed below. These guys are our unsung heroes and without them there would be no Smiddy events. A big shout out to our volunteer riders in Ken Woods and Paula Fleming, who have done many Smiddy events between them and are on-board purely to help all our fundraising riders to complete their journey in NZ. As for Kevin and Sami-Jo they need no introduction as two of the nicest people in the world and long-time Smiddy supporters, with Kevin just recently winning the greatest ever Australian Volunteer award in a ceremony in Melbourne just recently. Hopefully Kevvy comes down from his high soon and is ready to sign some autographs for his adoring fans in New Zealand! Meanwhile Peter is from Christchurch and is back for a second time to drive the front vehicle that keeps the riders safe. While Jillian is Peter’s partner, and Sharon wife to Smiddy rider Neil Klein.
Ken Woods Ride Leader/Support Vehicle
Paula Fleming Ride Leader
Kevin Enchelmaier: Support Vehicle
Sammi-Jo So Massage Therapist
Peter Monopoli Support Vehicle
Jillian Walls Catering Crew
Sharon Kerslake Catering Crew
Other than that you have the Smiddy staff members of Christian Killeen, who will be riding in the peloton and the captain of the group. I mentioned Cherie before and last but most importantly the lovely and cleverest Smiddy girl we have ever had behind the scenes, in Wendy Muir! How’s that for a plug Wendy?
So if you are reading this far then you are one of our faithful blog readers and I encourage you to support the crew as much as you can. Their journey begins on March 14th and ends five-days later back where they started from and 700 kilometres later on March 18.
Leave A Message Or Donate
To find out more or if you wish to donate to any of the riders then please go to www.smiddy.org.au
There Is Always A P.S.
P.S. If you know any of the crew and wish to send them a message just send it to Cherie.Nicholas@mater.org.au and she will read your message out each night.