By Rachel Grunwell
This is how Greg Rieger is feeling after finding out his fundraiser has raised $26,000 to date.
“That’s 11 kids on the boat,” says Greg Rieger, proudly.
This means there is enough money to put 11 kids on the Spirit of Adventure boat in the future – an experience that empowers youth to create brighter futures. Greg dreamed he’d raise enough for 12 kids to experience the Spirit of Adventure when he started his 12-half-marathons over 12-months mission this year. Now he reckons he could be helping more kids than he had ever dreamed of helping (because there is still four months to go!)
So, he’s over the moon.
The I Ride With Hame fundraiser – where Greg will do 12-half-marathons over 12-months – kicked off at the Rotorua Marathon event this year. It will end at this same event on May 5,2018.
Greg’s wife Donna and many family and friends have also been a big part of this heart-felt venture, often joining Greg at events to walk or run.
The fundraiser was started in memory of Greg and Donna’s Son Hamish (pictured below  who tragically died after being swept off the rocks at Mt Maunganui, in the Bay of Plenty, on January 23, 2016.
Greg says Hamish loved helping people as a lifeguard and so he is just doing something Hamish would do if he was here.
The Rotorua Marathon event is really special to the family and so too is the Spirit of Adventure. In 2015, Hamish received a scholarship from Mount Maunganui College to sail on the Spirit of Adventure.
After experiencing the Spirit of Adventure, Hamish returned focused and enthused on becoming a policeman and determined to become fitter than ever. One of his big fitness goals after returning from the Spirit was to run the half-marathon at the Rotorua Marathon event – and so he entered this renowned event. Sadly he passed away before he could fulfil this passionate goal. So Greg and Donna decided to walk this event last year to celebrate their beloved son and finish the goal he wanted to complete. A friend also ran the event in his memory too.
These first, hard, and heart-felt, footsteps sparked something big. The couple returned to do the event this year to kick off their official fundraiser. And many passionate friends and family have been supporting them by cheering them on, or joining in to run or walk too or even fundraise.
Several sponsors have also been kind enough to support the venture, which has humbled Greg. From a physio, to  asics, and lots of others.
Greg reckons there will be around 30 family and friends joining him to do the final fundraiser half-marathon at the Rotorua Marathon event. There will be lots of sweat, smiles and celebrating that day.
He also chuckles that he will try and corner a few more friends and family into joining him at this event when he sees them over the Christmas period. He says he will ask them to “join the movement”.
“This will be a big one and I would love everyone to be there,” he says.
Margi Mellsop, from The Spirit of Adventure Trust, has previously commented that Greg and Donna’s fundraising mission is inspirational and she is so grateful the money will go to their trust.

She said: “We are so moved by Greg and his family’s commitment to celebrate the life of Hamish in this way. Their efforts will ensure that Hamish’s spirit of adventure will be passed to other Mount Manganui teens . What an incredible legacy they are creating”.

Join the Riegers by entering the Rotorua Marathon event – CLICK HERE
If you’d like to support the ‘I Ride With Hame’ fundraiser, donate via: ASB 12-3011-0461607-52 (all money goes to The Spirt of Adventure Trust for future scholarships to send deserving students on the Spirit of Adventure.

To listen to a video where Rachel interviews Greg about his running mission and how it is going. Click HERE 

Blog by Rachel Grunwell: Award-winning journalist. Good magazine columnist & smoothie chick. Multi-Marathoner. Yoga Teacher. Blogger.

Rachel’s mission is to inspire Kiwis to live healthy and happy. Follow Rachel via InspiredHealth’s Facebook page & Instagram 



Picture credits in this piece:

Top pic of Greg and Donna hand-in-hand was kindly supplied by

Picture of Hamish kindly supplied by Jamie Troughton.