Five days. Sixty kilometres.
Two Manning women are set to undertake a rigorous physical challenge in the name of supporting sick or injured children and their families from the Manning and Great Lakes.
Rhiannon Curtis from Coopernook and Jillian Cameron from Old Bar will spend nine days in China and five days trekking a section of the 21,196 kilometre Great Wall of China.
The trek will see them encounter misty mountainous terrain, dense forest, plenty of stairs and passing through farmlands and and villages.
The Great China Challenge is organised by Inspired Adventures to raise money for Ronald McDonald House.
Ten people are taking part, with six raising money particularly for the Northern NSW chapter, which includes the Forster retreat where Rhiannon works.
The participants are required to pay their own travel costs and to be eligible to participate, raise $3500 each.
Rhiannon and Jillian have raised about $9000 between them and are gearing up for two fundraising initiatives to help boost the effort.
This Friday evening, April 12, they will have a fundraising community raffle at Club Taree and they will also have a mega raffle night at Old Bar Tavern on May 3. They will leave for China on May 15.
Even though she describes herself as "not overly active", Rihannon signed up for the challenge first, seeing an opportunity to do something for the charity she worked for. After receiving some encouragement from Jillian, she suggested she join her.
Jillian resisted initially but was being encouraged by her husband Michael as well as Rhiannon.
"Then a girlfriend's daughter got sick and ended up in Ronald McDonald House," she said.
The day the young girl was starting her treatment Jillian was driving through Tuncurry and received a call from Rhiannon.
"I said, if she can go through something like that sort of treatment, I can walk five days on the wall. I was like, let's go."
The pair are good friends who met while working at the Commonwealth Bank about 12 years ago.
While Rhiannon now works for RMH in Forster and Jillian left to become a mum, they still kept in touch and now see each other much more regularly for their training.
They have aimed to train according to the terrain they will encounter and have been exploring many different locations across the region to do that.
"You pick your training to what information you get through...the closer we get the stronger we want to be," said Jillian.
"I knew we lived in a beautiful part of the world," added Rhiannon. "It's been really fun discovering really interesting and beautiful places."
They are mixing up the distance and the incline as well as the intensity. "It's quite out of my comfort zone," said Rhiannon.
Before signing onto the challenge, Jillian was more active, training twice a week at a bootcamp.
Their training has included a 16 kilometre walk around Harrington (while Jillian pushed one of her children in a pram), stair work, and on a recent weekend climbed North Brother Mountain together, encountering torrential rain along the way.
Jillian said she was in her element on the climb up North Brother Mountain and was there to support Rhiannon, who was struggling.
Once she reached the top, however, Rhiannon had a much easier time on the climb down, while Jillian had a harder time.
"Where we would struggle in some parts we would pull each other through," said Jillian.
"We're a good dynamic," said Rhiannon.
The pair have balanced each other out in more ways than one, with Rhiannon bringing in her fundraising skills to help both reach, and exceed, their targets.
They have received good support and donations from local businesses, which they appreciate, and gives them added incentive.
"I don't want to let anyone down," said Rhiannon, who said she expects to feel emotional at the end of the trek.
"To have achieved something like that, and it's not only for your own gain. We know where the money is going."