Their feet are a bit tired, they’re carrying a couple of blisters and there’s been ‘‘a little bit of chafe’’, but two Winton fireys, walking five marathons in five days, are slowly but surely on target to get to Queenstown by tomorrow afternoon.
Guy Johnstone, 43, and Steve Turton, 48, set out from Bluff on Friday morning, intending to walk — in full firefighting kit, including breathing apparatus — the 211km distance, simultaneously raising money for Gumboot Friday.
Planning to cover the 42.2km distance in about nine hours a day, Johnstone says they actually covered 45.3km in 11 hours on Monday, but ended up walking 12 hours on Tuesday.
That was in large part due to the phenomenal support they received from their own community as they passed through.
‘‘Winton’s about 3km long — it took us an hour-and-a-half to get past, just with all the support … it was so cool.
‘‘We went to Limehills School, just out of Winton, they walked with us, just on the side street, and we went to the memorial there, they all sat around, did a presentation to us and performed the haka.
‘‘Holy Jesus, that was very moving, mate, very moving.
‘‘The support’s just been amazing.’’
Hoping to raise enough to cover the cost of counselling for 50 of the 76 daily calls to the kids’ free I Am Hope hotline — roughly $6300 — Johnstone says they’re also blown away by people’s generosity.
‘‘The amount of people even just stopping on the side of the road to donate … it’s unreal.’’
They’re also grateful to a Queenstown podiatrist who stopped on the side of the road to check on the pair’s feet — they’re hoping to catch up with him in Kingston tonight to ensure they’re in tip-top shape for the final straight, tomorrow.
Johnstone and Turton hope to be dropped off on State Highway 6 at Drift Bay about noon, where they’ll be joined by members of Queenstown and Frankton’s volunteer fire brigades to walk to the finish-line with them.
‘‘The support’s just bloody awesome,’’ Johnstone says.
To donate, visit shorturl.at/rASTW