Running Te Araroa for Mental Health

Running Te Araroa for Mental Health

Brook van Reenen is running the 3,000 km Te Araroa Trail to raise money for mental health. This is his story.

As I write this it is Tuesday the 25th of June 2019 and I have had a big year of running to get ready for what will be the adventure of a life time.

I am running south bound from Cape Reinga to Bluff on the 3,000 km Te Araroa trail starting on the 24th of August. I hope to be in Bluff on the 15th of December.

A fair amount of planning has gone into it so far. I have an itinerary, have been sorting out all the gear I will be taking and done a couple of fast packing trips in training, and I have been running the trails! I have had to find someone to rent my room for the duration. I have folders full of trail notes and maps. We will be playing it a lot by air and sorting out each section closer to the time that I am there.

My mum, Robyn and Dad, Gilbert will be my support crew following me along the way in a campervan where I can resupply and sleep, though I will be in huts the majority of the South Island.

As a keen photograher I am excited about what I will get to see with so many epic locations along the way, I will be in my happy place!

And I want to meet up with other like minded trail runners and run sections with them.

Sweet moody single trail in Wanaka  📷 @oscar.hetherington

Races I have completed are The Queenstown Marathon, The Luxmore Grunt, Crush the Cargill, Tail End Charlie in the Big Easy marathon, The Shotover Moonlight Mountain Marathon and I finally cracked my nemesis – The Mount Difficulty Ascent!

Running hasn’t come easy for me. I have tried the Mount Difficulty Ascent marathon 3 times without success. I finished the Old Ghost Road Ultra last year, but it was my 2nd attempt. I pulled out of my 3rd Kepler challenge last year due to the flu. That’s the reality of this sport, you never know what will happen on the day even if you’re 110% prepared. I heard it time and time again – I was fit enough for all of these races but it’s the mental side that gets to me! I go away thinking that maybe I bit off more than I can chew, but I always come back for more which is why I want to do this. Pain verse perspective comes to mind.

After a couple of weeks recovering, I am now heading into my final month and a half of training which will generally be just ticking up the kms each week so that I have a solid base before I start.

I’m not the first person to do this and I won’t be the last but I hope that by raising money for the mental health foundation along the way that I can make a difference.

Why am I raising money for the mental health foundation?
Nearly 50% of New Zealanders will experience a mental health problem in their lifetime. Some of my closest friends have been affected by it. Running is great for my own mental health and I will be overcoming massive mental battles within myself when I am running day after day. 

Your donation will help the Mental Health Foundation of NZ provide individuals, workplaces, schools and communities with the tools they need to build positive mental health and well being.

Southern Approach is stoked to provide Brook with Inov-8 shoes for his adventure. You can support Brook by donating here or follow him on facebook and instagram brook-van-reenen