The Long Pathway: Running New Zealand North To South

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Next week, British ultra-runner Jez Bragg will set out on quite an expedition. Beginning December 12 (12-12-12), he’ll attempt to set a speed record for running the length of New Zealand north to south. He expects the journey to take approximately 50 days to complete, covering some 3054 km (1898 miles) in the process.

Jez has dubbed his journey as The Long Pathway and daily coverage will begin soon. But this excellent infographic helps put the challenge into perspective. He’ll begin in the extreme north of New Zealand at Cape Reinga on the North Island. From there, he’ll follow the entire length of the Te Araroa trail, eventually ending in Bluff at the southernmost point of the South Island. According to the infographic, Bragg intends to cover approximately 60-80 km (37-49 miles), consuming 10 liters of water and 6000 calories per day.

Of course, not all of this route can be done on foot, as obviously there are a few water crossings that the  Brit will have to deal with. That includes the Cook Strait, which separates the two islands. But Jez won’t simply hop a ferry when he comes to these water crossing, but will instead use a kayak to continue his southerly journey. All told, he expect to paddle approximately 345 km (214 miles) across the length of the expedition. He also estimates that about 285 km (177 miles) will be done on roads, while the remaining 2424 km (1506 miles) will be on trail.

What a great challenge through an amazingly beautiful country. I’ll be thinking of Jez tonight when I go for my evening run, which will only be about 5 miles in length and barely scratch the surface of what he’s about to attempt. It should be fun to follow along. Watch for more updates on this epic run starting next week.

Kraig Becker

2 thoughts on “The Long Pathway: Running New Zealand North To South”

  1. he'll follow mainly the track of the same name :

    A french guy has tried this a few years back (Reinga-Bluff) under human power but didn't had the patience to wait for good weather kayaking accross the strait so took finally the ferry. He had no support apart from a guy who got the kayak ready etc… so he stopped to places to buy food for several legs of 3-5 days.

    I wish the man good luck. I have myself the idea of something similar in NZ but not ready after preparing for 10 years. As you know I did several other expeditions in between, started kayak but not good enough. My twist will be of course something harder mainly NOT on the Te Araroa. Other twist I don't mention… and I plan to be able to do it in about 6 months.

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