Oriental Express trio


These Queenstowners will risk life, limb and friendship during a dangerous journey across India – all for charity.
Aussies Tina Lacey and Phil Gordon with Irishman Declan Doheny, otherwise known as the “Get Some India” team, have entered the infamous Rickshaw Run next month.
They’re one of 64 teams racing each other over more than 3000km in a creaky three-wheeled 150cc machine – crossing jungles, deserts and mountain passes in just two weeks.
The extreme race begins in the south at Cochin, Kerala and the trio will drive their breakdown-prone rickshaw – given to them by race organisers before they begin – without any set route up to northern Sikkim in the Himalayas.
The popular race is designed to be tough and no support is offered.
All teams have countless breakdowns, with some forced to withdraw because of road accidents.
Last year, one rickshaw was hit by a bus and team members were admitted to hospital with minor injuries, according to the race blog.
“You’ve got to remember you’re on the road with cows, donkeys, trucks, cars – all kind of stuff,” Gordon says.
“It’s definitely not going to be easy.” 

Besides the adventure, the main reason for entering is to raise money for charity.
The trio needs to garner at least $2250 which goes directly to Frank Water Projects and Mercy Corps – both charities deliver aid to specific areas in India.
They’re calling on local businesses to help with cash donations or product to be auctioned or raffled before they leave on March 20.
“We’re hoping to raise as much money as possible for two very worthy charities,” Lacey says.