Running: Challenge returns

The man behind the resurrection of what was once regarded as one of Northland's most arduous running races has spoken of his reasons behind getting the event back on the Far North sporting calendar.

Kerikeri runner Jan Danilo said he decided to bring back the Cape Brett Challenge - a 37km endurance event over bush tracks and rugged hills which takes in the iconic Cape Brett lighthouse - after an absence of two years following the current resurgence of interest in trail and off-road running, but admitted he did not expect to be the one to orchestrate it.

"I was out running with Graeme Brown, who is a former organiser of the event, and we were talking about how good it would be to see it literally up and running again," said Danilo.

"He [Brown] said, 'why don't you organise it?' and that's how a Pom in New Zealand found myself re-establishing arguably the toughest run in Northland."

Danilo noted the "old" Cape Brett Challenge took place on six occasions from 2005 and proved a drawcard, with 250-300 contestants taking part annually.

The 2013 Challenge has been set to take place on Saturday, April 27 (over Anzac weekend).

It will offer a choice of three routes - the 37km classic run (which takes in the lighthouse), 17km Whangamumu loop run/walk, or the 10km Kauri Ridge run/walk - which all start and finish at the Kaingahoa Marae in Te Rawhiti, half an hour's drive from Russell in the Bay of Islands.

Danilo, who migrated to New Zealand from Britain two years ago, said the varied terrain and different routes offer something for everyone. "Aside from the initial 4km road section for all routes, the rest of the course is along bush tracks and includes a significant climb more than 2000m while the 17km track has 700m of descent.

"None of the routes are easy, but the classic 37km leg combining the almost marathon distance with all that ascent is truly the toughest race in the north."

For more information, visit, or contact Jan Danilo at 09 4071551.

- Northern Advocate

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