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Teenager completes epic run for refugees

Posted at 11:00am Saturday 03 Apr, 2021

Shay Broomhall reaches Bluff after a marathon journey that took 105 days.
Shay Broomhall reaches Bluff after a marathon journey that took 105 days.

Despite suffering a knee injury that took him out of action for more than two weeks, teenager Shay Broomhall succeeded in completing his epic fundraising run from Cape Reinga to Bluff within a whisker of his target of 100 days.

Shay, 19, returned to New Zealand from the UK last year to reconnect with his family in Warkworth.

While overseas, Shay got involved in distributing relief supplies to refugees in Belgium and France who had fled hotspots in Africa and the Middle East.   

Back in November, he set off to run the length of New Zealand along the Te Araroa trail on his own, carrying all his supplies on his back, to raise money for refugee causes.

It's believed he is the youngest person to have run the entire trail unsupported.

Shay says one of the hardest parts was the Richmond Range, south of Nelson, which experienced some unseasonal snow.

But things got even tougher further south after his left knee packed in, and he was forced to spend 16 days recuperating in Christchurch.

Once he got to Queenstown, Shay was anxious to make up for lost time and completed the final 300km in just six days.

On his final day, he ran a whopping 93km to reach Bluff.

The journey, including the recuperation time, took a total of 105 days – just five days more than his original goal.  

Along the way, he raised almost $8000 – more than four times his target.

He says he also got to meet some wonderful people and see some spectacular scenery. He counts seeing Lake Tekapo and Mount Cook among the highlights.

To support Shay's refugee fundraising effort, visit goldengiving.com/fundraising/runshay

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