Woman sets new record for running the length of NZ: ‘It’s such an adventure’

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A Queenstown nurse has become the fastest woman to run the length of the country, in 57 days and 12 hours.

Brooke Thomas on the Te Araroa trail.

Brooke Thomas on the Te Araroa trail. Photo: Supplied

Brooke Thomas crossed the finish line of the Te Araroa trail in Bluff last night, after covering more than 3006 kilometres.

She beat the previous record by a week and fundraised $22,000 for the HeartKids charity.

Sign post in Bluff

Brooke Thomas started in Cape Reinga at the end of November and finished in Bluff on 22 January Photo: RNZ / Nate McKinnon

Thomas has a pacemaker and said she wanted to test her limits.

She said her achievement had not sunk in yet, but it had been strange to have a relaxed day today after weeks of hard work.

“It’s such an adventure, and I’m just so excited that I finally got to do it. I’m sure it’s going to hit home over the next couple of days, when things slow down a bit. It’s been amazing.”

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Thomas said the rough trail made created many challenging moments.

“Navigation isn’t always and you’re over pretty high mountain climbs, but I had a fair amount of time on my own to think about what it is that drives me, and the answer that keeps coming up is: whenever it felt tough – keeping it in perspective, I’m not at war, I’m not struggling in a hospita;l bed, I’m just out doing something I’ve chosen to do and love doing.”


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