Districtwide councillor Jackie Elliott writes about an amazing feat carried out earlier this month by her childhood friend and fellow Kāpiti Coaster Richard McChesney.
Kiwi people continue to do extraordinary things in the world and Kāpiti man Richard McChesney, 52, who has lived in London for 12 years with his family has continued to do us proud with his latest race-walk in the city of London.
Richard completed the first complete walk around all 270 London tube stations in five days, 20 hours and 18 minutes.
He set the first record and raised 1500 pounds in the process for UK homeless charity Centrepoint.
After being a former Kāpiti and New Zealand runner, Richard took up race-walking, under the eye of well-known Kāpiti running coach Peter Ellis. Richard remains the New Zealand record holder for all race-walking distances from 100-500km plus the 24- and 48-hour records.
Richard posted regularly on social media during lockdown and I am sure he broke a few world records on his electric treadmill at home during the lockdown in the UK.
After completing his 220km circumnavigation walk of Surrey post-lockdown, then Richard looked for his next non-competitive walk challenge and realised that no one had attempted to visit all 270 stations on the London tube system.
Booking a few days leave from work he made this his next personal challenge and planned to start with the outer reaches of the tube system working his way into the central stations.
Due to the number of homeless people he would be meeting on his journey Richard decided to use his efforts to raise awareness and funds for Centrepoint Charity UK which supports more than 100,000 homeless people.
He got a good dose of the real world plight of the homeless when after three days, 500km and 126 stations - he had only managed two hours real sleep despite every attempt to keep warm sheltered and feel secure out in the open.
At the 500km mark Richard said he thought he had done it in his second best time ever, even though it was not under race conditions.
It was 23 hours slower than his NZ 2016 record which remains unbeaten.
His training taught him to stop, assess his mental and physical condition and rest for 12 hours in his own bed, before carrying on to complete the feat, now in the inner London routes.
Over the next two days, Richard walked to a further 144 stations before completing his goal.
In five days, 20 hours, 18 minutes and 3 seconds, he had raised a whopping 1500 pounds in pledges and donations along the way.
Now with time for a good rest back at home with his family, I am sure Richard will waste no time in planning his next personal race-walk challenge.