May 15, 2012
Former Nanango resident, and Queensland representative athlete, Meredith Bochmann is taking on an amazing 12 challenges in 12 countries in 12 months as part of a massive year-long fundraising effort for charity.
Meredith, who is the daughter of well-known former Nanango Shire councillor Ros Gregor, now works as a Digital Communications manager in London and hopes to raise £12,000 for the African charity HOPEHIV.
HOPEHIV supports children and young people in sub-Saharan Africa who have been orphaned or affected by HIV/AIDS.
So far Meredith has taken part in the 11km Resolution Run in Brisbane (January), the Barcelona Half-Marathon in Spain (February), the Limassol Half-Marathon in Cyprus (March) and climbed Mt Kinabalu in Borneo (April).
Ahead of her are the London to Paris bike ride, the Montreal Marathon, the Rocky Gap Adventure race in the United States, the Bog Snorkelling Triathlon in Wales – and other mind-boggling and body-testing events.
There are a team of competitors taking part in the “12in12 Hope In Action” challenge. Together they aim to raise a total of £250,000 for HOPEHIV.
Donations can be made on Meredith’s page on the Just Giving website. All the money raised will go directly to HOPEHIV as Meredith has self-funded her participation in each challenge.
“I am so excited about helping such an amazing charity that helps to change the lives of so many young Africans so please dig deep and sponsor me,” she said.
She’s also looking for people to join her on her crazy challenges. If you’re interested, she can be contacted by email.
UPDATE May 18: Meredith completed a 12-hour endurance challenge yesterday, the next task on her list. She told southburnett.com.au that she’s “tired and sore” but is looking forward to her next challenge … cycling to Paris in a few weeks!
Mt Kinabalu, 4095m (13,435 feet) above sea level in the East Malaysian state of Sabah, Borneo. The highest peak in South-East Asia and scene of my fourth challenge for the 12in12. Also, possibly one of the wettest places I have visited. Oh joy!
The climb would take two days. Day 1 would be about 6 hours and 6km to Laban Rata, the rest house at 3273m where we would catch some sleep for a few hours. Then a 2:30am (yes, AM!) departure would hopefully get us to the summit for sunrise before the descent back to Park HQ on Day 2. Too easy!
Not quite so, apparently. At approximately 5:00pm we reached the rest house soaked almost to the core, with frozen hands, jelly legs and in desperate need of a hot shower. I had stopped counting steps at about 6458 but I now understood why Mt K is sometimes described as the stairway to heaven.
As we ascended into the sky, I couldn’t help but be in awe of my surroundings and on several occasions I just stood quietly catching my breath and thinking how lucky I was. That was of course until it started bucketing down with rain again. Which it did. Frequently!!
Borneo has a tropical climate. It WILL rain they said. It ALWAYS rains on the mountain. But, it will be a fine mist or a quick, heavy downpour. Day 1 had already proved “them” to be liars. We had spent the better part of seven hours in what can only be described as monsoonal rain.
Head torches fired up, we joined the long line of glowing dots and promptly hit, you guessed it, more stairs (at least this time visibility was about 2 feet so couldn’t see what lay ahead). It was fairly slow going as everyone who has reached the rest point is heading out at roughly the same time (unlike the day before).
There were plenty of opportunities to stop and have a breather, especially as we reached the “rope section”. On my descent later in the morning, I wondered if so many people would continue to the top if they could actually see what they were doing or how a few steps to the right might have seen an early end to their climb (and life). But, in the dark it’s just hold on to the rope for dear life and pull yourself up.
Passing through the 1km checkpoint, I started to feel quite excited that the end was near. Big mistake! Rounding the corner and looking up, as far as I could see, little lights snaked their way through the darkness. On and on and on they went.
Nonetheless, at approximately no idea (forgot to check the watch), weary but not beaten I reached the Kinabalu Summit, sat down on a big rock and . . . I could only sit and watch and wander how on earth my life was so good in that moment.
Next up I will be rowing, riding and running continuously for 12 hours on a treadmill, rowing machine and stationary bike. If that’s not enough to get you to sponsor me then I will happily take suggestions for a wildcard challenge that might…
UPDATE June 1: