A group of kiwi racing drivers will once again trade the race track for the gym in an effort to raise funds for the World Vision 40 Hour Famine, which takes place in just over a fortnight on May 21-23.

Back for a second year, the 2010 NZ Motorsport Trainathon see 2009 participants Jono Lester and Alastair Wootten joined by three new faces to fitness train for 40 hours non-stop at the Millennium Institute of Sport & Health on the North Shore of Auckland.

Completed successfully for the first time in 2009, Lester and Wootten decided in early February to give the challenge another crack, and go ‘bigger and better’ in every respect, including a hefty target of raising $10,000 for the charity.

It didn’t take long for others to put their hands up, and the 2010 NZ Motorsport Trainathon has a diverse team of participants from all walks of motorsport life. They include:

- Jono Lester, 20, a Porsche GT3 driver and recent winner of a Porsche Junior Scholarship.

- Alastair Wootten, 20, a former Speedsport Scholarship winner and Toyota Racing Series driver.

- Richie Stanaway, 18, 2008/09 NZ Formula Ford Champion and current ADAC Formula Master points leader.

- Andrew Vincent, 16, a national quad racing champion and Formula First front runner.

- Sam Robinson, 21, a rookie in the 2009/10 Suzuki Swift Sport Cup and top-5 finisher at the 2010 Hamilton 400.

The five young athletes will push their physical and mental boundaries throughout the event (which has no resting or relaying) with a schedule including cardio fitness, weight training, athletics track work and drills, rock climbing, swimming, water polo, water walking, dance class, boxing, yoga, weightlifting, dodgeball, soccer, the new dance craze ‘Zumba’ and even some Nintendo Wii fit!

Utilising the Millennium Institute’s fantastic facilities and personnel, the team will also spend time training with Olympic and Commonwealth Games athletes throughout the 40 hours, including Olympic swimming start Moss Burmester, the Commonwealth Games weightlifters and former Games walking Silver Medallist Tony Sargisson.

With the participants aware of what is in store for them this time around, the event preparation has been lifted in professionalism, with the Trainathon team working directly with the marketing teams at the Millennium Institute and World Vision New Zealand to get the most out of this unique challenge.

1273465257Helen Carter, World Vision’s 40 Hour Famine Manager, said the heartland of 40 Hour Famine is going without food, but it’s exciting to see young Kiwis finding challenging and creative ways to do the Famine. Last year, two world records and a national record were set, including the Trainathon.

“We are inspired by the enthusiasm of the Trainathon team who have decided to give the 40 Hour Famine another go. It’s great to see such talented young men behind our cause, and motivating others to get involved!” added Helen.

As with any charity event, the Trainathon relies on the generous donations and sponsorship of others, be it a personal donation of a full sponsorship of the event on a larger level.

“We treat this a little like raising money for a race event, to be honest, and with that in mind we all know what we’re doing. We encourage anyone to donate to the cause online [below] – it doesn’t matter if it’s $5 or $50 – but we also have a heck of a lot to offer those who want to sponsor the event on a larger level,” Lester said.

“Sponsorship can come in the form of a cash donation or the donation of product to on-sell via charity auction – whatever it takes to make up that $10,000 target!”

The team encourage anyone interested in sponsoring the Trainathon to contact them directly at trainathon@gmail.com – information on media support and sponsor recognition is ready to be distributed.

The 2010 NZ Motorsport Trainathon has also gone viral, with the public able to keep up to date with via the Official website, Facebook and Twitter pages, and YouTube diaries every hour of the event.

The Trainathon represents a monumental personal challenge for each of its participants, but they remain upbeat about the task ahead:

“You only live once, so why not go down to the gym for 40 hours, and help others while you do so!” Robinson said.

Vincent added; “From seeing what the boys did last year I wanted to give this a go as it’s for a great cause, and a great way to have fun with my mates in the process. Bring it on!”

Online donations to the Trainathon can be made by visiting www.famine.org.nz/groups/trainathon

The 2010 NZ Motorsport Trainathon commences at 04:00pm on Friday May 21, finishing at 08:00am on Sunday May 23.