When Brook van Reenen, of Wanaka, first planned to run the length of the country from Bluff to Cape Reinga along the 3000km Te Araroa Trail he thought he might be able to raise $5000 for the Mental Health Foundation.
Now over halfway through his run, Mr van Reenen has exceeded his expectations and has raised over $12,000 for the charity, with a new goal of $25,000.
He has been running in the Tararua ranges on his journey back south and is finding the trail both exciting, and challenging.
Some of the highlights include “the goblin forests, the Tongariro crossing, the diversity from mountains to beach”.
But it is also a challenge with “rain and mud, sometimes being on roads instead of tracks”.
Running along the tops of the Tararuas was “really tough and a strong mental test. There was no going back”.
“Where the trail goes is one foot in front of the other and you just have get on with it,” Mr van Reenen said.
He has been accompanied during the Tararua section by multi-athlete and metal sculptor Ernie Maluschnig, of Wanaka.
At this stage Mr van Reenen was not thinking about the fundraising other than “very much appreciating” all the donations that had been made.
His journey continues with about 1300km to run in the South Island before he gets to Bluff.
You can follow his adventure by visiting fb.com/thelongrun19
To give visit events.mentalhealth.org.nz/fundraisers/brookvanreenen/brook-runs-te-araroa