Tuk tuk trio's trip to India

IPSWICH: A trio of adrenalin junkies are today preparing to leave their home comforts behind to navigate their way across India with just a rickshaw to carry them.

IPSWICH: A trio of adrenalin junkies are today preparing to leave their home comforts behind to navigate their way across India with just a rickshaw to carry them.

The Ipswich team 'Dark side of the Naan,' are taking on the Rickshaw Run, a challenging adventure involving teams of people racing from the Keralan town of Cochin in the south, to deep in the Himalayan hills to the town of Gantok, Sikkim on tuk tuks.

Ollie Welton, 22, will be leading the team, which consists of his brother and chief mechanic Matt Green, 27 and “designated responsible adult” dad Tony Welton, 52, all of London Road. They will be setting off for their adventure on March 24, ready to line-up at the starting line on March 28.

Over two weeks the team will cover thousands of miles in their 150cc auto-rickshaw to raise money for the designated charities Frank Water Projects (which funds clean water projects in developing countries) and Mercy Corps (which help in the aftermath of disasters).

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Ollie said: “The route is completely our choice, if we get lost, tough. If we break down, we fix it. If we need somewhere to sleep, we find it.

“It is not the normal sponsorship funded trip, we are paying our own way on this, so everything we raise will be going to the charities.

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“I have biked through Vietnam but the others have never taken on anything like this before. We have been looking for an adventure and this just seemed like a great idea.

“We can't wait, we are all counting down the days.”

Their aim is to raise as much money as possible. As soon as they have raised the stipulated �1,000, they are free to support other charities of their choice.

Ollie, who works in IT for the BBC, added: “We are also hoping to raise money for a charity called Coping with Breast Cancer. We are looking for as much sponsorship as possible and would like to offer local businesses the chance to buy advertising space on our rickshaw, in return for a donation.”

To support their fundraiser visit their website www.TheNaanBoys.com or follow them on Twitter at www.twitter.com/TheNaanBoys. If you want to advertise contact Ollie on 07890 423566.

The Rickshaw Run is simple. With no preparation and next-to-no home comforts, teams embark on the challenge to drive a 150cc tuk tuk thousands of miles through inhospitable terrain in two weeks.

After a game of cricket, tea and cakes, the engines are revved and the band of adrenalin junkies set off.

The routes are vaguely planned- changing each time the event takes place to ensure the challenge remains as tough.

Huge mountains, dirt tracks, tropical jungle and monsoon weather are just some of the elements those taking part can expect to tackle.

The organiser's website quotes the rickshaw as “undoubtedly the ultimate long distance, off road machine, despite being designed for short distances on road.”

There is no back-up support for the teams and that is part of the adventure. When they cross the finishing line, another cricket match, tea and cakes await.

To take part, teams have to raise �1,000 for the dedicated charities.

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