Teen tack­les Hil­lary Trail

Auckland City Harbour News - - NEWS - By JU­LIAN RAETHEL

THERE’S no such thing as down time for Ree­gan Ab­solum.

He’s just com­pleted the har­row­ing 75 kilo­me­tre Hil­lary Trail run. And he’s only 14. Ree­gan set out from Muri­wai at 6am on November 16 and crossed the fin­ish line 12 hours and 38 min­utes later at Arataki.

Not sur­pris­ingly there were mo­ments of doubt for the high sS­chool stu­dent.

‘‘Once I got to Karekare about 42km in I started think­ing, ‘ what have I got my­self into?’

‘‘Ev­ery­thing from my waist down was hurt­ing,’’ he says.

The Hil­lary Trail is no Sun­day stroll and the ter­rain is test­ing for even the most sea­soned run­ners.

But the goat track re­wards with out­stand­ing views of the west coast beaches.

The Hil­lary Trail’s ori­gins be­gan in 1925 when Sir Ed­mund Hil­lary’s fa­ther-in-law Jim Rose built a bach at Anawhata.

Sir Ed­mund would head to the west coast to un­wind and pre­pare for his next ad­ven­ture.

The Hil­lary Trail was de­vel­oped through the joint ef­fort of the Auck­land Re­gional Coun­cil and bush rangers be­tween 2005 and 2009 and opened the fol­low­ing year in mem­ory of its name­sake.

Ree­gan had never at­tempted any­thing on this scale be­fore Satur­day. The fur­thest he’d run was 21km. He started run­ning two years ago and joined the Huia Road Bush Run­ners with his fa­ther, Shane.

‘‘Dad asked me if I wanted to do it and I just said ‘yes’ straight away,’’ Ree­gan says.

‘‘I get ex­cited about run­ning up hills but run­ning down them was def­i­nitely the hard­est part.’’

School triathlon team man­ager and deputy prin­ci­pal Chris Wood­ward didn’t bat an eye­lid when Ree­gan told him he wanted to tackle the full length of the Hil­lary Trail.

‘‘Trag­i­cally, I wasn’t sur­prised,’’ Mr Wood­ward says.

‘‘That’s just the na­ture of Ree­gan in all his sports.’’

Ree­gan was joined by his fa­ther and a small sup­port crew who fol­lowed him in a ve­hi­cle along the roads and beaches.

Mr Ab­solum also ran part of the way with Ree­gan to keep his spir­its high.

‘‘I just went straight to bed when I got home and on Sun­day I was a lit­tle sore so I went for a bike ride,’’ Ree­gan says. ‘‘I’m pretty keen to do the dou­ble trail run at some stage.

‘‘But that will be a while away I think.’’

Photo: JU­LIAN RAETHEL

Bush run­ner:

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