Meet the Runners: 5 teams foolish enough to do the Rickshaw Run

Rickshaw Runners are a funny bunch. I mean, you need a certain type of mentality to want to sit in a bouncy tin can for two weeks for a start. Secondly...who do you choose to share this blissful journey with? Your mum? Your best mate? That bloke from the pub? Or maybe someone you apparently swore undying love for, over a kebab, after a few gins, last night.

There's only a handful of things you can count on when it comes to doing the Rickshaw Run: that your mighty steed will eventually stumble, that you’ll get lost more times than you can count, and that you never know who else you'll be sharing the adventure with.

Among the 210 people taking part in the January Rickshaw Run, we’ve got six professional Yogaslackers, a doctor of cephalopods, and a guy who longboarded 8,300km across Canada for charity. Just your average bunch then.

So in no particular order, meet five teams crazy enough to voluntarily wobble across India in a rickshaw:

The Travel Bloggers: Team Namaste Outta My Way

Team "Namaste Outta My Way" are travel bloggers from the UK, USA & Australia

Hannah, 32 – writer/travel blogger from Brighton, England

Sarah, 31 – writer/travel blogger from Perth, Australia

Kim, 31 – writer/travel blogger from Portland, Oregon

How do you know eachother?

Hannah says: “We all read each other’s blogs and knew each other that way, and then I sent an email to both of them last January. I’d always wanted to do the Rickshaw Run but no one wanted to do it with me. Finally I was like, fuck it, I’m just going to email Kim and Sarah. We had this ongoing conversation where we got to know each other. Now we feel like we’ve always known each other.”

The Strangers: Team Haugen & Pekkanen

Team Haugen & Pekkanen is a mixture of Swedes & Israelis

Sara, 25 – student from Gotenburg, Sweden

Fiona, 24 – student from Gotenburg, Sweden

Yochay, 29 – electrical engineer from Tel Aviv, Israel

Michal, 28 – waitress from Tel Aviv, Israel

How do you know eachother?

Yochay says: “We heard about the Rickshaw Run maybe a month ago when we were in Korea. I started searching for teams who were still looking for other team members. [Sara and Fiona] had posted eight months ago that they were looking.

 “We are a team, but we just met yesterday,” Sara adds. “At first we thought we needed to know each other better, but we’ll get there. By the end of the two weeks I guess we’ll see the best and the worst of each other.” 

The Brothers: Team Tuk Wits

Tuk Wits, unsurprisingly are three brothers from Australia

The Boys even have matching jackets (they've each got their name sewn inside the collar to

Kieran, 25 – software engineer from Sydney, Australia

Jaxon, 24 – civil engineer in Canberra, Australia

Tim, 28 – works in finance, from Sydney, Australia

Why are you doing it together?

Tim says: “Me and Jaxon looked it up initially, but we needed a third person. We went through a few other options but thought it would be rude to not ask Kieran. So we reluctantly asked him.”

“Actually, they just said ‘you’re coming,’” Kieran adds. “I didn’t even have a choice.”

The Lifetime Mates: Tuktuk Totties

Tuk-Tuk Totties is from Singapore & London but mostly Singapore

Bridgette, 40 – banking in Singapore, originally from Durbin, South Africa

Anushika, 31 – precious metal sales in London, originally from Sri Lanka

Manisha, 35 – business development in Singapore, originally from Sri Lanka

How do you know eachother?

Manisha says: “Anushika and I met at university in Reading 13 or 14 years ago, but it wasn’t until the tsunami in 2004 – when we co-founded a charity in Sri Lanka – that we became good friends. And after moving to Singapore two years ago, a mutual friend put Bridgette and I in touch. We met and just clicked.”

 “Anu travels a lot for work and we actually see her once a month in Singapore,” Bridgette adds. “We’ve all become really good friends. This is family now, pretty much. That’s our journey, and hopefully we’ll create more memories and more journeys on the Rickshaw Run.”

The Dogsled Drivers: The Ridonkulous Mushers

Two dogsled drivers from Alaska and Scotland

Bill Sutherland, 63 – pensioner from Scotland

Pat Moon, 36 – professional dogsled driver in Alaska

How do you know eachother?

Pat says: “We met in Alaska. Bill has a friend in Scotland that ran the Iditarod with me in 2010, so we met in 2009… There is an underlying theme to Bill’s and my general stupidity to doing things like this. I owned a very well off business in Chicago that I sold off. Bill is also very charitable, so most of our dumb adventures are giving-based.

“If we can do something, there’s an end result to doing it. The North Hope sleddog race across Russia was for an orphanage; and obviously we’re here for Frank Water, and another charity called Friends of the Special Nursery in Aberdeen.” 

Is there any similarity between dogsled racing & Rickshaw driving

Bill says: "You gotta feed the dogs, you gotta give petrol to the rickshaw, it’s the same thing... The dogsled races don’t go to plan either."