Tales before the trail Blog #3 - Crush the Cargill

Wrapping up 2018, Crush the Cargill and looking into 2019, by Brook Van Reenan

2018, what a year!

My running journey started in January, I tackled the Big Easy marathon on one of Wanaka’s hottest days on record, (36 degrees) I completed a 46 km day training run which included a double skyline traverse in Wanaka!

February  I went back up to Westport where my goal was to finish the 85 km Old Ghost Road ultra as I had previously tried it in 2017 and fell short, I pulled out 52 km’s into it so since then was to determined to go back and get it done, it didn’t come easily but I knocked it off and that experience changed my life! Till this day it is one of the best trails I have ever run!

Training for Te AraroaApril came around and I got a lift with running legend James Harcombe to the divide near Te-Anau and we had an awesome day on the Routeburn, It was perfect training for the race which was to be held later that month, which unfortunately got cancelled for the first time.

Then it was time to hit the hills! The one race which I can’t seem to finish was looming in June (The Mount Difficulty Ascent marathon), after 2 unsuccessful attempts I was determined to go back and get this one done! June 9throlled around and I headed down to Cromwell, I had trained well and was ready to go, but as usual things didn’t go to plan and the Mount difficulty Ascent finish line still eludes me. Fourth times a charm right?

The previous two August’s had included a trip to Naseby for a great race in Naseby held on the last weekend of the month. I had completed the 80 km and the 50 km races so in  2018 it was time for the team event. 30 km’s each between two of you, I teamed up with Sarah Davidson and we had a great day and both ran in under 3 hours respectively! It was great to get back that finish line feeling after my disappointing end to Terry Davis’s monster!


Early morning runs and mountains

It had been 3 years since I completed my first ever marathon so I wanted to go back 3 years later and see if I was faster and too see what I had learnt, I signed up for Queenstown marathon and the fast flat training began, Naseby had taught me that consistency in training was key, Mel Aitken kindly gave me a programme which I followed and trained at least 5 days a week up to 10 hours, I was training well until an idea I had in my head for so long became a reality! To run Te Araroa, 3000 kms from Cape Reinga to Bluff! However I was going to run the reverse, from Bluff. The reason for this is because up north when I start in September a lot of the trail will be closed due to lambing, however down South I won’t have that problem. I also want to raise $5000 for the mental health foundation of NZ. The wheels have been put in motion and planning is underway roll on the 1stof September!

With the wheels turning I created a Facebook page, got the epic support of Further Faster on board and many others which I am stoked about and everyone seems to enjoy following my progress.

In October I gave my flat run training a rest and headed for the hills, I had a week off  and completed an epic 7 peaks in 7 days! It was an awesome goal to complete and gave me great mental strength heading into my next lot of challenges before I take on Te Araroa in September!

Queenstown marathon came along in November and I managed a PB of 3.51 then it was time to head down to Te Anau where I completed the Luxmore Grunt! You would think after that I would have a break but nope on December the 15thit was time for Crush the Cargill.

I headed to Dunedin on the Friday and went out for a pre-race beer with the team at CtC, as it is an unofficial event you a required to bring all your own supplies so it was a perfect test for the T.A the aim of the race is to run up and down Mount Cargill as many times as you can in 24 hours!

Crush the CargillSaturday the 15thcame along and we started at 10 am, I managed 5 laps in around 8 hours before I took a break and had a bit off a sleep, I felt pretty average by that stage and was considering pulling the plug  after 43 km’s. I had a rest and decided to carry on in the middle off the night! I did 2 more laps and then went back to sleep around 3 in the morning! I got out of bed at 6 am had a coffee and decided on 1 more lap then I was done! It was an awesome event put on by Steve Tripp and Andrew Glennie and all the funds raised went to The valley project.  It was cool too make new friends and see old ones on the trail and we even made the front page of The Otago daily times!

friends on the trail

2018 wrapped up it was time to rest the legs for a few weeks before getting back to my beloved trails in the new year where with the races I have planned there should be lot’s more ‘Tales before the Trail’ blogs, I look forward to meeting people at these events and joining them on the trail and I hope everyone has a great new year!

Where will you find me in 2019?

20thJanuary – The Red Bull Defiance (volunteer on the run course)

26thJanuary – The Big Easy marathon (tail end Charlie)

16thFebruary – The Shotover Moonlight marathon, 42.2 km’s

9thMarch – The Motatapu ultra, 51 km’s

10thMarch – The Motatapu marathon, 42.2 km’s

27thApril – The Routeburn Classic, 32 km’s

8thJune – The Mount Difficulty Ascent, 44 km’s

1stSeptember – Te Araroa – Day 1


Written by Brook van Reenan, who is preparing to run the Te Araroa this September raising money for the Mental Health Foundation.

Get in touch with Brook if you want to join him or donate to a great cause.



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