Sunday evening marked the end of the Titirangi Mt. Everest Challenge for 2021.
Due to Alert Level Two guidelines, there was no major closing ceremony this year, however, Sport Gisborne Tairāwhiti were on the maunga on Sunday evening handing out certificates and spot prizes, and the event was officially closed off with karakia from Morehu Pewhairangi and his whānau.
Over the seven weeks of the challenge, 1,600 participants took part, made up of 163 teams. Altogether participants climbed the maunga over 17,000 times.
Sport Gisborne Tairāwhiti Events Advisor Debbie Hutchings said “The TMEC has been going for 9 years and each year we see people achieve more than they initially set out to do and in process create new friendships with other participants, share their journey and more importantly improve their overall health and wellbeing. We encourage people to keep going and work towards their goal. Titirangi or wherever the maunga is located, will always be there for people to climb.”
Participant Daryl Gowers had his own personal journey with the challenge. He had a friend pass away from cancer a few weeks prior to the start of the challenge and made a commitment to him that he would complete the 68 climbs. Over the 7 weeks he accumulated an incredible 471 climbs. Gowers said ”This achievement was not only in memory of my friend who had passed away but for the many families that lose loved ones to cancer here in Tairāwhiti. I like to see all the smiling faces and bring more enjoyment while on the maunga by giving away lollies for a bit of fun.” Daryl works as a volunteer for the Gisborne East Coast Cancer Society raising much needed funds for the services they provide.
With support from Ngati Oneone, Sean and Fiona Shivnan, the East Coast Cancer Society, the Gisborne District Council and ProTraffic, as well as local champions such as Huringa Pai, the event was able to raise awareness and funds for the East Coast Cancer Society to support locals living with bowel cancer.