Clifford Brown is in New Zealand job-hunting, and while he is here he wants to enjoy the scenery the best way he knows how.

The 37-year-old project controls manager, who is from Potchefstroom in the North West Province of South Africa, is mad about long-distance running. In between looking for jobs he has been training for the 21km Speight's West Coaster run next weekend in Auckland.

Brown has completed several ultramarathons in South Africa. He has done seven of them with a best time of 7hr 28min. He has also completed 12 Two Oceans Marathons (a 56km run in Cape Town in South Africa), and completed more marathons than he can keep count of.

But his expectations for the West Coaster are more about enjoyment than competing.


"I want to take it easy on the day and just soak up the beautiful scenery and the moment. I will be armed with my Go-Pro camera so I will be running, walking and taking photos so I can show my family when I am done."

He has been in New Zealand since October 7, and plans to go back to South Africa on December 13. He has been running 5-10km five times a week and then doing a long run, building up to 18km.

Earlier this year Brown did his first trail run and was hooked. "I love the scenery and the freedom to run in nature as we are meant to. The road gets a bit boring but out in nature it is the rocks, the flowers, the trees, the wildlife - it is just amazing."

He has loved his time in New Zealand and the run at the West Coaster, and finding a job here would be the fitting finale to his visit.

"I can't wait for this run. It is always a lot of fun running in a new place and I hear the scenery is stunning, so I am really excited."

What advice does he offer to people new to trail running?

"Start your training by running and walking, and set a time like 15 minutes out and 15 back. That will help motivate you as you can see you got further than yesterday in the 15 minutes, etc. Once you are a bit fitter, hit the trails."