Running man hits stride in Far North
You’ll often find stories of people prepared to walk, run or cycle the length of the country for a good cause within these pages.
Every now and then, however, someone will come along whose extreme approach to completing the 2050-odd km distance between the two points allows them to stand out from the pack.
Like Perry Newburn, who began his goal to run from Cape Reinga to the Bluff in 20 days over the weekend. By today, the 64-year Napier resident will be four days deep into his odyssey, in which he intends to cover 110km a day by running something like 14 hours a day nonstop.
Newburn arose early on Saturday and began his campaign from Cape Reinga at 4am, eventually finishing the first day 108km later just south of Kaitaia.
When called for a progress report on Sunday afternoon, the veteran long-distance running enthusiast admitted to sleeping in so he wasn’t expecting to finish his second day on the road until on or after dark and somewhere just north of Kawakawa.
“First two or three days your body has to go through that adjustment process, that’s to be expected,” he said of the minor setback.
For day three on Monday, he was planning to make it to the Waipu/ Langs Beach vicinity.
Newburn is giving himself 10 days to complete the approximately 1070km involved in the North Island stage, and just over eight days to do the South Island, an estimated 940km. In the process, he will be attempting to beat the existing record for running from the Cape to the Buff of 18 days and nine hours set by Siggy Bauer in 1975.
Most of the journey will be done along the main arterial route, but he will get off SH1 at parts which are too busy or dangerous to run along. One of his proposed detours will be at Pokeno, from where he’ll run south through Matamata and rejoin SH1 at Tirau.
Food intake will be done on the move (albeit while walking before gradually getting back into stride), although Newburn laughed at the suggestion any special nutritional requirements were required for the punishing regime.
“When you do that sort of mileage, you can eat rubbish, I live on fat. Chips, burgers, chocolate milkshakes, especially chocolate milkshakes, you name it!”
Newburn is a veteran longdistance enthusiast, having been a regular competitor in various 100 Mile and Six Day racing events all over the world. He ran “around” New Zealand six years ago, a 5000km journey which took 70 days to complete, and holds a world masters record for running from New York to LA
"When you do that sort of mileage, you can eat rubbish, I live on fat. Chips, burgers, chocolate milkshakes, especially chocolate milkshakes, you name it!"
Cape to Bluff runner Peter Newburn
Peter Newburn beginning day two of his Cape to Bluff marathon on the outskirts of Kaitaia.