Run CEO Run!

  • $5,146.00 donated
  • 54 generous donors
  • Back on The Mall     03 May 2017
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    CEO Chris Hooper is now back home in NZ. But before he left London, he had one last very special appointment. At Buckingham Palace, no less. An Audience with Her Royal Highness The Princess Royal, Princess Anne.

    Princess Anne is in her 31st year as the President of RDA UK. She is also our Patron and she shows an active interest in RDA activities at home and abroad. Chris was keen to update The Princess on developments since her last visit to NZ in 2008.

    Chris takes up the story:

    What an experience! On a lovely spring morning, I walked up The Mall to the North Centre Gate of Buckingham Palace. I walked alone across the vast, famous forecourt beyond the Palace gates, past the sentries in their boxes, towards a red carpeted stairway leading to the Privy Purse Door.

    Palace staff then escorted me through a maze of hallways, passages and lifts. They introduced me to The Princess Royal and we sat down to discuss the many facets of RDA. She expressed interest in the London Marathon and in our various funding challenges. We also talked about rider waiting lists, joint ventures, carriage driving and RDA programme development.

    After 40 minutes, I walked back out onto the Palace forecourt, towards the gates and past the crowds. I felt a real sense of pride in having met Princess Anne. It was a great honour and an amazing opportunity to engage with our fantastic Patron in such a relaxed way.

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  • Bagged it!     24 April 2017
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    He did it! Chris Hooper crossed the London Marathon finish line at around 2.15 am Monday morning NZ time. His official race time? 4 hours, 36 minutes, and 25 seconds. Awesome!

    More news to come. Meanwhile, thank you so much for your support. It really did make a big difference in buoying Chris to achieve his personal goal - as well as boosting his professional goal of Reaching More Riders and Changing More Lives. Thank you!

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  • Outlook for Sunday is fine     23 April 2017
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    Good weather conditions are expected for today's London Marathon. NZRDA CEO Chris Hooper and 40,000 other runners are about to run 26.2 miles (or 42 kilometres) around London and The Thames.

    The elite men and women will take just 2 to 2.5 hours to run their race. Most other runners will take at least twice that before they finish up in The Mall in front of Buckingham Palace to collect their race medal.

    It's forecast to be a chilly start, with temperatures of 8 °C (or 17.6 °F). The cool and cloudy conditions are ideal for the runners although possibly a little chilly at first for the hundreds of thousands of spectators expected to line the route.

    In NZ, the race will be live on Sky Sport Chanel 54 on Sunday night from 7.45 pm. In the UK, it's live on BBC One on Sunday morning (from 9.55 am).

    Regular progress updates on Chris will be posted on our Facebook and Twitter pages.

    Thank you for your support.

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  • Chris goes to the Expo – and meets his hero!     21 April 2017
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    For NZRDA CEO Chris Hooper, his hero is Mike Gratton. Who?!

    Mike is a long-distance runner and Commonwealth Games medalist from the UK. He's also the 1983 London Marathon men's winner. Like Chris, Mike started running as a teenager. Unlike Chris, Mike's questionable fueling strategies included a fondness for beer. Once, in Puerto Rico, Mike took a big gulp of what he thought was water from a drinks station, and it turned out to be white rum!

    Mike's London Marathon win coincided with the sport turning professional. His time of 2:09:43 still ranks him among the top on the all-time British marathon rankings.

    Mike – and Chris – were among thousands of runners (and supporters) to visit the London Marathon Expo. London Marathon Charitable Trust Patron Prince Harry was another guest. The Expo closes on Saturday, before the London Marathon gets underway on Sunday.

    The race will be broadcast live on Sky Sport Chanel 54 from 7.45 pm on Sunday evening. To track the progress of Chris, download the London Marathon app and type in his race number which is 47247. A chip in every runner's shoe records their progress.

    iOS 👉

    Android 👉

    Check out our Facebook and Twitter pages as we'll also post regular updates on how Chris is going!

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  • The eagle has landed     20 April 2017
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    CEO Chris Hooper is now in the UK, getting ready for Sunday's London Marathon. He's taking it easy this week – staying at his mum's in Tunbridge Wells and doing a few light runs. Tomorrow, he heads into the big smoke for the London Marathon Expo. This is where thousands of runners will register and collect their gear for the race.

    Prince Harry is Patron of the London Marathon Charitable Trust. He cut the ribbon to open the Expo on Wednesday morning. He also handed out some of the race goody bags.

    In total, 70,000 people will visit the London Marathon Expo before it closes on Saturday. Stands include all the major running brands, charities, athletics magazines, and health products.

    Various celebrities will pass on their running hopes and tips. Chef Gordon Ramsay is a London Marathon pro. Ice-skater Jayne Torvill will make her marathon debut this Sunday. Elite triathlete and marathon coach Martin Yelling will offer last-minute advice.

    Thank you for backing Chris to run the London Marathon. You're helping to raise awareness and support for Riding for the Disabled. On behalf of our riders, our volunteers and our horses, thank you – it is very much appreciated.

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  • Who runs 26.2 miles for fun?!     13 April 2017
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    Very few people run 26.2 miles (or 42 kilometres) for fun. I enjoy running. But I wouldn’t call a 4 or 5 hour marathon fun. So why bother?

    On 23 April 2017 I will run the London Marathon. There will be 40,000 other runners – and 750,000 spectators. Eek!

    Many run to support a particular charity. London Marathon raised £59.4 million for charity in 2016. Since the first race in 1981, runners have raised more than £830 million for good causes. It's the largest annual one-day fundraising event in the world.

    I'm more than a little nervous. I've run the marathon before. But never for charity – and never for one means so much to me.

    I've done the training. I've got myself new shoes – and a new shirt. But I would also love your support.

    I've been CEO at NZ Riding for the Disabled for over a year now. In that time, our 56 local RDA groups have increased the ability of over 3,000 people. But we have a long waiting list. Children and adults who want to ride – who would enjoy the positive benefits of riding – but can't.

    Most of our riders are children. They are my #ReasonToRun the #LondonMarathon. Hashtags smashtags! I'm hell-bent on #ReachingMoreRiders and #ChangingMoreLives.

    Please check out this fundraising page. Follow us on Facebook or Twitter. I’m 25 per cent of the way towards my fundraising goal.

    Before I line up in London and run, walk, gallop or crawl 26.2 crazy miles, I would love to have your support. Please donate, like and share. Everyone has a #ReasonToRun – please make this your #ReasonToGive.

    Thank you in advance for your support. I will really appreciate it. Especially on race-day.

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  • $20 can make all the difference for one special rider     31 March 2017
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    We support every local RDA group in New Zealand. We train every coach and volunteer to get the very best out of every horse and to achieve the very best for every rider. It’s exciting – and a real honour.

    We have over 3,000 riders – and a waiting list. Every rider needs his or her own RDA support team. Every team needs training to be more effective and to get great results. Every team, every horse and, most of all, every rider needs to feel confident and safe.


    $20 can provide high-quality training and safety support for one rider for one month.

    $250 extends that support for one rider out to one year.

    Please help to provide RDA riders with more freedom and opportunity. You can make someone’s world a much bigger – and more amazing – place.

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  • Samantha & Smudge     20 March 2017
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    Each year over 3,000 people enjoy our goal-based horse-riding and horse-related activities — people like Samantha.

    Every day Samantha touches her nose. That might not seem like much but, to her family, it means a lot. A rare condition means Samantha has low muscle tone and can't sit, walk or talk. But she can make signs to communicate. Her family taught her to sign 'Smudge', like 'having a smudge on your nose'. Smudge is the horse Samantha rides at Riding for the Disabled.

    Her mother Adele says that Samantha signs 'Smudge' whenever she wants to ride 'her pony'.

    “Samantha loves 'Smudge Day'. She can't tell us this in words but she communicates it with every other facet of her body. Her excitement, joy and pure exhilaration when she rides Smudge brings me and my husband David to tears."

    Samantha now sits on Smudge with a straight back and a huge smile. The motor actions of a horse mimic that of a human walking and riders can feel a sense of what it's like to walk. Adele says this is the perfect antidote to a life spent in the confines of a wheelchair.

    "When Samantha signs for 'Smudge', David and I think of the wonderful volunteers who give up their time to make our dreams happen. We think of the expert co-ordination and instruction that she receives. We also see it as a sign for hope — that our daughter has found a life-long passion that makes her world a bigger place."


    Your kind support for Riding for the Disabled and for Run CEO Run helps to make a positive difference for people like Samantha, Adele and David. Thank you — it is very much appreciated.

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  • $5,146.00 donated
  • 54 generous donors

$5,146 donated



This cause page was created on 12 Jan 2017 and closed at 23:59 NZST (UTC +12:00) on 31 May 2017.

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