Marathon man’s ‘crazy ad­ven­ture’


Alex Asher is em­bark­ing on a ‘‘crazy ad­ven­ture’’, run­ning a marathon a day for 31 days straight.

The 32-year-old Auck­land man will em­bark on the 1100 kilo­me­tre jour­ney along the North Is­land’s rugged west coast to raise money for New Zealand’s water­ways.

From Jan­uary 2 he plans on run­ning 50km a day for 31 days, as well as swim­ming the three main har­bours be­tween Welling­ton and Cape Reinga - two of which are ‘‘shark in­fested’’.

There will be no roads, un­less he has no other choice. In­stead it’ll be beach, coast and farm land.

Asher has been train­ing since Fe­bru­ary, and this is his sec­ond ‘‘crazy ad­ven­ture’’, af­ter com­plet­ing a run along the North Is­land’s east coast over 63 days in 2011.

Along­side his daily marathons, Asher will be swim­ming across three west coast har­bours, and two in par­tic­u­lar, Manukau and Kaipara, are ‘‘shark in­fested’’, he said.

The great whites in these har­bours don’t usu­ally look for large prey, Asher said, but as a pre­cau­tion he’ll be fol­lowed by a boat in both har­bours.

He’ll also have a shark shield in the form of a leash at­tached to his an­kle that sends out an elec­tro­mag­netic pulse to de­ter sharks.

‘‘To be hon­est it’s still pretty scary,’’ Asher said.

Asher aims to raise $8000 for Sus­tain­able Coast­lines, a char­ity he’s chair­man of, that helps pro­tect New Zealand’s water­ways and coast­lines.

In par­tic­u­lar he hoped to cast light on ri­par­ian plant­ing, to pre­vent ero­sion and ex­cess nu­tri­ents pol­lut­ing water­ways.

‘‘Our coast­lines are frag­ile. They’re only clean if we look af­ter them.’’

Asher plans to start run­ning at 5am each day and be fin­ished by mid­day.

‘‘I like to stop and en­joy it, so my goal of 50km will take four to six hours a day.

Run­ning more than a marathon a day does not leave much time for rest and re­cov­ery.

‘‘That’s the thing that keeps me awake at night.’’

On Asher’s east coast run he in­jured him­self early on but was lucky enough to be be­side wa­ter.

To rest his an­kle he swam for three days un­til his in­jury healed enough for him to walk, then hob­ble and then run again.

Asher plans to start in Welling­ton and fin­ish at Cape Reinga.


Alex Asher will run 1100 kilo­me­tres to raise money for New Zealand’s coast­lines.

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