Cherie Howie

Cherie Howie is a reporter for the Herald on Sunday.

Teen runs length of NZ in 34 days

Taylor ran the length of New Zealand to raise money for charity.  Photo / Doug Sherring
Taylor ran the length of New Zealand to raise money for charity. Photo / Doug Sherring

A 19-year-old from the Hutt Valley has experienced New Zealand in a way few others can claim - running the 2200km length of the country in only 34 days.

Victoria Taylor yesterday completed her epic journey to Bluff, after averaging around 60km a day since she began in Cape Reinga on September 1.

Even on the Interisland ferry from Wellington to Picton she refused to take a break, running on a treadmill during the crossing.

In doing so she raised more than $9,500 for child cancer, running in memory of Whakatane toddler Chace Topperwien, who died of leukaemia in June.

The amount far surpassed her goal of $1000.

The long distance runner celebrated last night by releasing of balloons in memory of Chace and shaking up some sparkling grape juice.

"It went really well," she wrote on her Facebook page from Stewart Island today.

"This isn't the end its a step in life and there is many more to come. Hope that I helped make a difference in these kids' lives and can continue on to do so, if you have the capability to do something good in this life just do it."

During her journey, Taylor didn't succumb to setbacks such as wearing out $750 worth of shoes in the first week and her support driver quitting one day in.

She didn't relax for long, however, making a last-minute decision to run Stewart Island, the length of a half marathon, "just to top it off".

Unexpectedly, the exercise has added 6kg to her starting weight of 45kg.

Taylor will start training for her next goal, the 2014 Commonwealth Games, on Sunday and planned to be running least 20km a day.

"Running - it's an addiction," she added.

- Herald on Sunday

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