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Sponsorship for the Rickshaw Run 2018

On the 1st April 2018, Graduate Engineer Joe Watts (left) along with two friends embarked on the Rickshaw Run through India and raised an impressive £675 for Cool Earth.

The Rickshaw Run is a race spanning the length of India in a tuk tuk with no set route, back-ups or way of knowing if you are actually going to make it. This year, Rolton Group sponsored Project Engineer Joe Watts, who decided to take part in the race to help raise money for Cool Earth.

Having arrived in India on 29th March a couple of days before the start of the race, Joe and his team had their first driving lessons to familiarise themselves with their rickshaw as well as stalling, failing to find neutral, toppling over and colliding with stationary objects.

The 1st April arrived and the team set off from Fort Kochi with the aim of reaching the finish line in Jaisalmer in around 14 days. Some of the highlights of Joe’s trip included getting lost in the mountain ranges in southern India, where the locals were concerned their route was taking them through tiger reserves in an open side vehicle – perhaps fortunately, they did not come across any tigers, but they did see four wild elephants, many monkeys, huge termite hills and a variety of birds.

While lost, the team drove through a town where inhabitants lived within the walls of an existing castle. They went up to the castle to look around and assumed it would be abandoned like many of the forts and castles they had passed on their journey, they were surprisingly greeted at the gates by some men who wanted to know who they were. Joe and his friends were then welcomed into the castle to meet the King of the region, who invited them to stay for the night, provided lunch and showed them round the grounds. The King also showed them pictures of the British Royal Family and explained that Charles and Camilla had also stayed at the castle.

Joe Watts said:

“It quickly became apparent that every stereotype you hear about Indian roads is true; we saw seven people on a motorbike, people riding on the top of buses and no speed limits. Lanes simply do not exist – if there is a gap, you take it – it was carnage! It was a brilliant experience and we’re very grateful to everyone that has donated to help us raise money for Cool Earth.”

Having had no breakdowns, Joe and his team were the first to arrive in Jaisalmer, finishing two days early on Day 12 before the finish line officially opened at 10am on Day 14.

When Day 14 arrived, they noticed that the closest team was 100km away and decided to have a well-earned rest and relaxed breakfast as they thought there was no way the competitors would make 100km before 10am. Joe and his team were astounded when they rolled up to the finish line at 11am, only to find they had finished fourth!

A huge congratulations to Joe and his friends for completing the Rickshaw Run and making it to the finish line safely, while also raising an impressive amount for a worthy cause.