Helping Hand for Point to Pinnacle runner

FOR some people simply conquering the Point to Pinnacle is feat enough.

But for Sandy Bay man Peter Wheatley, the “world’s toughest marathon” was the final leg in a gruelling month of marathons.

Mr Wheatley ran a marathon each day for 31 days to raise money for “Water for a Village”, a charity set up by his wife, Catherine, to establish water wells in Ethiopian communities.

In recognition of his efforts, Federal Group presented Mr Wheatley with a $1000 Helping Hand when he crossed the finish line of the Point to Pinnacle, at Wrest Point, at the end of his final marathon.

“I’m a bit of a nutter I suppose, but it’s to support Catherine’s charity, which raises the plight of people who don’t have access to water,” Mr Wheatley said.

“A marathon is the distance from a well to the nearest town and the women walk six hours a day to carry 75kg of water on their backs, just for their families.

“The mountain where Catherine builds the wells is twice the height of the (Mount Wellington) pinnacle.

“Point to Pinnacle is an iconic event and it was about building opportunities for conversations with people about the work of the charity.”

Mrs Wheatley fell in love with Ethiopia walking through the Simien Mountains National Park and wanted to make a difference in the lives of the people who live there in complete poverty and challenging conditions.

She started Water for a Village, which builds wells to provide improved access to water.

Mr Wheatley raised more than $20,000 in total, which will create five new wells.

“I’ve actually done it quite easily,” he said of his month-long effort.

“It comes down to motivation and I had a great reason to do this.

In an unexpected turn of events, Mr Wheatley will spend the next month on crutches after suffering a stress fracture on his hip, upon finishing the Point to Pinnacle.

And while he jokingly blamed it on a mistimed hug from his wife at the finish line, Mr Wheatley concedes it was probably built up over the month.

“It’s not exactly how I wanted to end, but it was a tremendous month,” he said.

“Apart from this, I’m actually feeling really good.”

Federal Group executive general manager of corporate finance and company secretary, Colin Dewhurst, nominated Mr Wheatley for a Helping Hand.

Helping Hand is a community initiative run by Federal Group that invites all staff members to nominate a club, community group, volunteer organisation or individual for a $1000 Helping Hand.

A Helping Hand is given away each fortnight.

Caption: From left, Peter and Catherine Wheatley, of Sandy Bay, with Federal Group’s Colin Dewhurst, who nominated Mr Wheatley for a $1000 Helping Hand.


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