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Cinderella’s Shoes Part Two

Friday 9th March 2018

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We last saw team 42, NZHL Women Beyond Cancer, on Sunday as they landed on the riverbank near CP16 after the packraft across Lake Hauroko and down the Wairaurahiri River. Chanel had left her shoes behind at Teal Bay, which did not bode well for the mammoth off-trail trek that was taking teams a number of days to complete. Cue Karn Christian, a photographer on the GODZone media crew, who was on a jetboat that was departing CP16 just as the team arrived. He was more than happy to donate his trail shoes, and Chanel received them with endless thanks. They were a size too big, but that was certainly favourable to any alternative options the team had come up with.

I was stationed at TA7 posting updates on teams that came through when Chanel’s father Paul pulled up in a 4WD. He’d been a committed dot-watcher from his home in Whangarei, but when he saw what a challenging course they were tackling he couldn’t face watching from afar any longer. He stepped out of the vehicle and I caught a glimpse of a one-of-a-kind t-shirt he was wearing – he’d had the photo of the fairytale shoe handover moment printed on the front!

A few minutes late the NZHL Women Beyond Cancer team rolled into transition, and we could finally get an answer to the burning question, “How did the borrowed pair of shoes fare on the epic trek?”

“They were a size too big…but this turned out to be perfect! My feet were so swollen that my own pair of shoes would have been too small,” said Chanel.

The team carried along onto the last trek and final paddle across the lake from Brod Bay to Te Anau. Chanel was still wearing the perfect pair of borrowed shoes as the team crossed the finish line on Friday morning – and photographer Karn was behind the camera capturing the moment! Chanel removed the shoes, quickly washed them in the lake, handed them back to Karn, and the fairytale was complete.

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