23 Jan 2021

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

4:52 pm on 23 January 2021

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

Brooke Thomas

Brooke Thomas 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.

Brooke Thomas  at Bluff

Brooke Thomas started in Cape Reinga at the end of November and finished in Bluff on 22 January Photo: SUPPLIED

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."

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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