With no set route and no back-up, just plenty of Kiwi ingenuity and determination, Henry Marchant, David Walsh and Mark Harris have just completed an epic journey from Cochin to Jaisalmer in India.

Henry and David, both former Stratford High School students, and Mark who is from Napier, were entrants in the famous Rickshaw Run, a thrice-yearly event organised by The Adventurists who also organise the Mongol Rally.

"We chose to raise money for the Stroke Foundation as our team members have been personally affected by the effects of strokes."

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Rickshaw runs are held in January, April and August each year and while the route changes each time, the starting point of a run is always the previous run's finishing point.

The rickshaw itself is an auto rickshaw, commonly known as a tuk-tuk. The three-wheeled auto runs on a two-stroke, single cylinder, forced air cooled engine with a top speed of about 55 kmph — downhill.

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In total, the three travellers covered 3347km over the two-week adventure.

Henry says he and Mark decided to enter the run and soon convinced David to come along as well.

"Mark and I are heading to Russia and Europe in a few months and this seemed like an amazing way to start our trip."

He says entering the Rickshaw Run appealed to them as it gave them the opportunity to raise money and awareness for their chosen charity while they got to experience India in a different way.

"As it is a massive event with 78 teams it also appealed as a cool way of meeting other like-minded people."

The teams can choose a charity to raise funds for, as well as raising money for Cool Earth which is the official charity of the event. Cool Earth works with indigenous people to halt rainforest destruction.

"We chose to raise money for the Stroke Foundation as our team members have been personally affected by the effects of strokes."

The three men have entered their team under the name Monday Morning Meeting which Henry says is a joke about the corporate lifestyles they had each been living prior to the event.

The team has faced some unexpected complications during their trip. One was being accused of causing damage to another vehicle.

"We were being extorted by two unfriendly locals after false accusations for hitting their vehicle and police turning a blind eye."

However, unfriendly locals were the rarity, with Henry saying the best part of the trip itself has been the curiosity and kindness of the Indian people they have met through their travels in the country.

He says a completely open mind about the experience facing you is essential for anyone considering entering the Rickshaw Run.

"Expect to be uncomfortable at times and try to plan your route as little as possible."

While the three young adventurers have finished their Rickshaw travels, their fundraising page is still open for people to donate to and Henry says every donation is appreciated.
To donate, visit: www.givealittle.co.nz/cause/monday-morning-meeting-rickshaw-run
To find out more about the Rickshaw Run and other adventures, visit: www.theadventurists.com