Monday, September 20, 2010

An alternative triathlon from Chris Boller...

I received the volunteer manger position I wanted in the location I wanted. In January I’m off to Borneo as a volunteer finance manager- very excited!

Agh, the scary part, how do I raise the sponsorship required? I got my thinking cap on and thought of the things I like doing...

As a keen outdoor enthusiast I came up with my take on a triathlon: Running for 10km, mountain biking for 10km and then kayaking for another 10km. With the idea in place I set about consulting the OS map and deciding on a route. I was really excited about the big day but also a bit apprehensive. It was my day to do Raleigh proud; I’d done a lot of preparation printing logos, emailing contacts and drumming up support.

The day started with my support team Keith and Gemma arriving with the camera flashing. We decorated the car with all the pre-printed logos and made sure all the changeover items were loaded!

The run started at 10.30 with the support team blaring Roxy out the car stereo to start me off. Hugely grateful, several supporters were along the running route to cheer me on. Having done the 10km run over fairly hilly ground I quickly changed and set off on my bike.

95% of the bike route was off-road and being along the North Downs was even hillier than the running route including several sections of single track. Again the support team did a terrific job.

I had persuaded one of my friends Keith to kayak with me so I would have some company for the last bit. Arriving at the stepping-stones on my bike for the change over to kayak, there were supporters to spur me on for the final leg. Another quick change and I was off again!

The kayaking would be the slowest part of the day but along the scenic river Mole. The river levels weren’t great but I managed to paddle the whole way with only a few scrapes along the bottom. A surprise sign 10km later on stating “Finish Line” had been hung up against the final bridge, yepie! I had made it!

Not satisfied with just the triathlon, I invited everyone back to mine for chilli in the evening, to truly celebrate an incredible day.

I use the word again: an amazing day. Thanks for all the support especially to CAP (Croydon Active Paddlers) and particular to Keith, Gemma and Mike, without whom the day couldn’t have happened. I’m truly grateful.

I am half way there to my fundraising target. Next on my fundraising plan is doing my 2nd car boot sale. I’ve learnt not to be afraid of the fundraising but to embrace it!

You can still sponsor me at

Your support is really appreciated, Chris

Friday, September 3, 2010

Have I gone bananas?!

Fundraising can be tough, but when it pays off the rewards are big. After signing up to take part on an expedition with Raleigh I knew there was a long way to go before I reached my target but I was excited about getting there. I started off by researching a few ideas; Raleigh’s fundraising blog is a great place to start, although unlike other venturers I’m not going to be jumping out of a plane anytime soon!

I’ve been very lucky to have a few mates willing to help out. One night I fundraised in pubs in Manchester raised a surprising amount; a few people even got us drinks! All it took was a word with the landlord, telling them all about Raleigh. It might have been a bit daunting a first but soon enough it became second nature and ended up being one of the best nights I’ve had in ages. So, put on your Raleigh t-shirt, rope in a couple of mates, grab a few collection pots and get collecting (there might even be a drink or two in it)!

Another way I’ve been raising funds is through writing to grant-giving trusts. These trusts donate money to certain causes, such as helping poor communities overseas and encouraging young people to see the world. Nine times of ten you might not get a response, but that one reply can make a big difference. One trust was kind enough to donate £500. I also had a few really nice letters of support which gave me the motivation to keep plugging away until I hit my target.

For my final round of fundraising I decided to do something big, risking both my limbs and my dignity, I decided I would climb Yorkshire’s three highest peaks in just one day... dressed as a banana (Costa Rica’s most famous export). I set up a JustGiving page, a Facebook page and sent messages to all friends and family. Soon enough the donations came rolling in. I also managed to get a piece in a couple of local newspapers, using Raleigh’s guide (included in the welcome CD) I put together a press release and fired it off to a few local newspapers. I got a response almost straight away and it was printed just a few days later.

Last Sunday I took part in the climb (along with fellow venturer Becky Slater). We might have forgotten the dog, I might have stumbled into a bog, but together we scaled three peaks and hiked twenty-five miles in just ten hours. It was a great day and for anyone looking for ideas I would highly recommend it. The views are incredible and it’s fantastic preparation for the adventure part of a Raleigh expedition.