Alex Asher left Wellington last Monday with the intention of running all the way to Cape Reinga, 1100km away, and he plans to complete the journey on January 31.

His aim is to cover 50km of the North Island's west coast each day to achieve the goal and as of yesterday afternoon he had covered 175.9km and was having a stop-off at Waitarere Beach.

The 32-year-old Aucklander is making his way over sandy, steep and rough terrain to raise money to help save New Zealand coastlines.

Mr Asher is chairman of Sustainable Coastlines, a New Zealand charity run by a small staff with a network of volunteers and interns.


"Our mission is to enable people to look after the coastlines and waterways they love. It is not about being confrontational - we want everyone to enjoy our coastlines and look at ways that people can work together," said Mr Asher. "There may be people who want to see more trees along an area of coastline where there is farmland and a farmer who is willing to plant more trees on that land, so we want to encourage people to work together to achieve their aims."

Mr Asher is rounding off his days of running by swimming at beaches and rivers along the way and he plans to swim in the Whanganui River when he passes through tomorrow .
Heading for Foxton Beach last night, Mr Ashton said his knee was a bit sore and he had slowed his pace to power-walking speed.

"I have been training in Auckland and running from my home in Kingsland to the Waitakere Ranges, but it really didn't prepare me for running over the stony beaches along this stretch of coastline."

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