An unfortunate consequence of my growing immersion in the world of running has been the nagging voice of others questioning my motivation for wanting to do the things that I do or the much more ominous and obvious question of my sanity. That question has never really bothered me much. My simple rationale behind running has always been simple; I enjoy running and it makes me feel good, so I end up doing it a lot. That’s always been enough for me. I first became interested in the concept of expedition trail running when I finished my first big solo backpacking trip - 280 miles in 10 days on Vermont's Long Trail. I was happy with the pace of my walking, but I had been running competitively for several years and after a big triathlon, I felt ready to apply the focused discipline of athletics to the world of long trails. A job in outdoor education had brought me to Australia, so I cast my gaze around Oceania for a long trail where I could explore the idea of expedition trail running. After a few listless weeks of clicking around on the internet I found the Te Araroa, a trail that ran the entire spine of the island nation of New Zealand. The southern island section was thirteen hundred kilometers of some of the most beautiful trail in the world. New Zealand was high on a short list of places that I wanted to explore while in Australasia, so it was an easy call. All that was left was figuring out how I was going to run eight hundred miles.
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