Long Distance runner who ‘ran the length on New Zealand’ refuses record for this reason

Image: Kashif Shuja/AP

Last week, the world was in awe of Perry Newburn, a 64-year-old runner who appeared to have run the length of New Zealand in 18 days and eight hours, fuelled by milkshakes and hash browns. 

Whilst recovering from his impressive achievement, Newburn has refused to accept a record ‘for some obvious reasons’ - that reason being he drove for parts of the 1800 mile run.

Newburn explains that parts of the route were deemed unsafe to run, so he was driven for these parts of the journey.

He wrote on Facebook: "Now that I am back home and the brain has started to clear from the fog and fatigue, I have been able to think and reflect on the run.

"First of all I am not going to claim the record for some obvious reasons . There were parts of the run where road /bridge conditions were totally unsafe to run and therefore I made the call to be driven through these parts - these decisions were my decisions.

"The traffic was the main culprit in these situations but there were some parts where road conditions were unsafe as well so therefore the process happened."

Once again, Newburn said that the point of his run was to raise money for charity, not beat any records.

When planning his 1,300 mile route, Newburn scheduled stops at McDonald’s along the way. Unlike others taking on such an adventure, he ditched the fancy GPS watches, opting instead to run at his own pace for a route he’d plotted on a 20-year-old map. His support crew consisted of his friend Graeme, who drove ahead in his Toyota Corolla.

Newburn averaged around three full marathons each day, getting up at 4am in order to fit all the miles in, and various people came out to join him on his epic challenge. A former drug addict, Newburn was raising money for an autism charity in New Zealand.

Talking to local press, Newburn explains how he discovered running when recovering from his demons. “Running was a good way of clearing my head,” he said. “It was part of the process of getting everything back into the right space again. Rebuilding myself, I suppose.” 

When speaking about reaching the finish line of his 1300 mile challenge, Newburn added: “I almost collapsed in a blubbering mess,” he said. “I was just so elated. And happy I didn’t have to get up the next morning at silly o’clock.” 

We're still giving huge kudos to Mr Newburn for his impressive achievement. 

Also in the news this week: 

How a balloon saved this runner's life during a marathon

Will it snow on your Boxing Day run?