Russell Simpson has got the easy bit out of the way. Now for the hard part.

The Whanganui District Health Board chief executive has arrived in Kathmandu, the capital of Nepal, as he prepares to complete a charity marathon through the Himalayas.

Simpson is part of a quartet of businessmen trying to raise money for Heart Kids, an organisation providing lifelong care and support for children, young people and families impacted by child heart defects.

The four men, led by Colin Chapman, who is a director at 360 Logistics in Lower Hutt, have so far raised $220,000 of their $250,000 goal for Heart Kids.


Yesterday they arrived in Singapore and were expected to take a flight from there to Kathmandu.

On their journey the group will carry 42 prayer flags, each one with a special wish from a heart child.

The four men have been training for a year, on Mt Taranaki, Mt Ruapehu and in the Tararuas. Simpson completed 50km in the inaugural Ruapehu Ring of Fire on April 7.

The Tenzing Hillary Everest Marathon criss-crosses the high Sherpa trails of Khumbu valley and celebrates the historical ascent of Mt Everest by the late Tenzing Norgay and Sir Edmund Hillary.

Before the marathon starts at Everest base camp on May 29, the group will have to spend 10 days trekking the Himalayas just to get to Base Camp.