Phillip Roth Fundraises at Old Ghost Ultra Challenge

BDO isn’t just one of the top accounting firms in New Zealand, we also strive to create a culture that betters our communities. BDO Christchurch Business Advisory Partner Phillip Roth’s recent ultra challenge fundraiser is one excellent example of how we endeavour to achieve this.

In 2019, Phillip successfully raised $8,500 for New Zealand Spinal Trust by running the Motatapu Ultra. Now, Phillip has completed the Old Ghost Ultra to raise money for the Cholmondeley Children’s Centre, with astonishing results.



Phillip’s Running History

An ultra is not something anyone can do casually. It takes a significant amount of preparation and training, and can take years of running to build up to. Phillip has been running since childhood, but never long-distance, and only got into marathons after his 30s. Now, with a few marathons and ultras under his belt, Phillip has taken on his biggest challenge yet.

The Old Ghost Ultra

Clocking in at around 9 hours and 99,000 steps, the challenge pushed Phillip to his limits. The Old Ghost Road is a stunning, 85km backcountry trail, with over 2.5km of incline. After running the Crater Rim Ultra in October 2020 as preparation, Phillip said “focussing on what I was trying to achieve helped me to get through”, and this mindset paid off once again in the Old Ghost Ultra.  

The whole team at BDO Christchurch was delighted to back Phillip’s fundraising endeavour, which we’re happy to say was exceptionally successful. The goal was $10,000, and Phillip and his team of supporters managed to smash this  ambitious fundraising target, for a total close to $12,000.

The Cholmondeley Ultra Challenge

Roth ran the ultra as part of the ‘Cholmondeley Ultra Challenge’, a fundraiser that friend Arron Perriam and former CEO of Cholmondeley started.  Perriam’s challenge was to complete three ultras within four months which he also successfully accomplished.

All proceeds will go to Cholmondeley Children’s Centre, which offers short term respite care for whānau with young children in Canterbury. The organisation is 80% publicly funded and took a  hit last year as many others did, as many of their volunteers returned home overseas due to the ongoing pandemic.

With the help of all their fundraising endeavours, the Centre is  better equipped to create a safe environment for these kids.

When asked why he decided to run for a cause, Roth said that any challenge requires motivation, and there isn’t anything much more compelling than helping tamariki access opportunities that they might not otherwise have. He also noted that fundraising is a serious endeavour, which requires real effort and genuine care—it’s not just something to do because it’s nice.

“It's actually quite a serious commitment... It’s compelling to know the difference it can and will make.”

Running the Trail vs. Running a Business

Has running long distance helped Roth in his role as business advisory partner of BDO Christchurch? He describes the relationship as a kind of “beautiful alchemy”.

Any challenge has the capacity to teach you that perseverance can take you to heights you’ve only dreamed of, and running New Zealand’s beautiful landscapes makes that lesson fairly literal. It might hurt on the way, but getting to the top is worth the view. Knowing the true value of tenacity goes a long way when faced with the challenges of running a business.

BDO can help you get there

BDO Christchurch is a dynamic, diverse, and strong team of 140 professionals, with 12 Partners dedicated to the resilient city and the wider Canterbury region. If you need the services of a proven business adviser, BDO is here to help you reach your goals. Ultimately, we understand that it’s not just about the numbers—it’s the story behind the numbers that counts.