Fast climbs raise funds

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When Oamaru man Matt Davey sets his mind to something, little can be done to stop him achieving his goal.
Evidence of that came recently when he scaled North Otago’s three highest peaks – Mt Kohurau (2009m), Mt Domett (1942m) and Mt Bitterness (1910m) – as part of a fundraiser for Mental Health New Zealand in conjunction with a local gym’s fitness event.
That’s an achievement in itself, but to do it in fewer than 12 hours is nothing short of remarkable.
“It was 11 hours and 20-something minutes. I was pretty surprised when I got back to the car. I was aiming for 24 hours so it was good.”
On the solo climbs, he scaled Mt Kohurau first, followed by Mt Domett and Mt Bitterness.
Mr Davey, who has experienced his own mental health issues in the form of depression, said it was tough to keep focused at times while also dealing with heat and near-exhaustion.
“It was the hottest day we’ve had so far this year and being up there for 11 hours by myself . . . it was pretty hard to keep positive. I wanted to quit so many times. I’m still sore and really tired.”
The cause kept him going.
“It was why I was doing it. People had sponsored me to do this and I said I’d do it . . . it was quite a personal battle to do all three.”
The enormity of what Mr Davey, who celebrated with “a pizza and a hot chocolate”, achieved took a few days to sink in, and he was not sure if he would be willing to tackle another adventure of such magnitude.
However, those thoughts did not last long.
“I was thinking this is probably the last run I was going to do. The next day I went out and bought some new running shoes and starting planning for my next fundraising run.”
A former guide on the Hollyford Track in Fiordland, Mr Davey hoped to replicate an arduous dash for help made decades ago.
“I used to tell a story of a guy who was there in the 1930s. He saw a plane go down in the area – he was a farmer in the middle of nowhere – and he ran from Big Bush to Marian Corner, which is a total of 96km. He did it in 20 hours, so I’m going to replicate that.”
The man’s journey was both on foot and in a dinghy.
Mr Davey raised $695 and hoped he would reach $1000 on his next run.