Te Araroa News
First person to RUN Te Araroa - 18 December 2012
Adventure runner Richard Bowles (34yo, English born, Australian resident) has just become the first runner to complete the 3054km Te Araroa Trail, which spans the length of New Zealand from Cape Reinga in the north to Bluff in the south.
Since starting on Saturday 13 October, Richard has run an average of almost 50km per day, and experienced physical and emotional highs to the extreme. As he ran the final 32km from Invercargill to Bluff along a busy highway in the pouring rain with trucks flying past him he looked just as determined as he did when he set out 2 months ago.
During 2012 Richard became the first person to run the world’s longest marked trail, the rough and remote National Trail of Australia, raising awareness and funds for mental health organisation SANE Australia along the way.
In just 5.5 months Richard ran the equivalent of 127 marathons, and traversed the treacherous dividing range mountains from Melbourne to Cooktown, earning the reputation as a hybrid of Bear Grylls and Forrest Gump.
Despite knee deep mud, treacherous mountain passes and overgrown trails, Richard has fallen in love with the beauty of New Zealand, “It’s absolutely stunning, every day is another bit of paradise!”. Richard is in awe of New Zealands natural beauty, but is also aware of its danger, having taken several decent tumbles down steep mountain sections, crossing fast flowing rivers, and chancing it in avalanche prone regions.
Combining a passion for adventure, a love for running, and a determination to make a positive contribution to the places through which he runs, Richard is raising funds and awareness for Project Crimson, a leading conservation organisation, who have made impressive progress re-establishing pohutukawa and rata nationwide by planting trees, coordinating and supporting a wide range of maintenance activities, scientific research, possum control programmes and public education.