Group’s trip in rickshaw to welcome 2013 in style

CHALLENGE: Matt Hayes, Jon Gobie, John Simpson and Robbie Sampson who are doing a Rickshaw Run in India.
CHALLENGE: Matt Hayes, Jon Gobie, John Simpson and Robbie Sampson who are doing a Rickshaw Run in India.
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Four university graduates from Leeds are kick-starting 2013 with the challenge of a lifetime – a 3,500km, 14-day rickshaw ride through India.

Old friends John Simpson, Robbie Sampson, Matt Hayes and Jon Gobie have formed the Bombay Rickshaw Club to take part in the Rickshaw Run, starting on New Year’s Day.

A sister event to other famous challenges such as the Mongol Rally, the Rickshaw Run asks participants to raise funds for charity while experiencing the trip of a lifetime.

John and Jon, both 28, and Matt and Robbie, both 27, hope their adventure will raise £4,000 for Frank Water Projects and Macmillan Cancer Support.

The four friends met while studying degrees at Leeds Metropolitan University and have lived in the city ever since.

John, a landscape architect from Farsley, said: “It’s something we have talked about doing for years. We love the sense of adventure and being in India.

“The actual race begins on New Year’s Day, setting off from a palace in Jaisalmer, following a game of cricket with the locals and a blessing.

“We then have 14 days to make it to Cochin in Kerala, 3,500km away, by any route or means we see fit.

“The event is totally unsupported by any back-up teams, so it will just be us four, two rickshaws and six wheels on the Indian highways.”

In order to meet their fundraising target, the Bombay Rickshaw Club have already held several events to help them along their way.

These include a quiz night at Azucar in Leeds, starring Howard Marks as quiz master, which raised more than £400.

They have also secured support from firms including Wildcats, re-form landscape architects, Garnett Netherwood Architects and CBRE.

A total of 70 rickshaws will be involved in January’s event – organised by The Adventurists – with each rickshaw tasked to raise at least £1,000 for Frank Water Projects and another charity of their choice.

To sponsor the team or for more information, visit: or:

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