In just over six weeks, Cambridge man Dick Breukink will achieve his goal of running 100 half marathons in 10 years, when he goes back to where it started at Taupō in 2008.

To mark the historic occasion, Taupō organisers have allocated Dick race number 100.

His challenge is now almost completed after he ran number 99 on Queen's Birthday weekend in Tauranga.

Dick Breukink pictured with popular American TV personality Giuliana Rancic at the 2013 New York Half Marathon.
Dick Breukink pictured with popular American TV personality Giuliana Rancic at the 2013 New York Half Marathon.

He says the event was held in torrential rain and wind — the relief to cross the finish line was incredible.


Dick was 52 years old when he started the challenge, and has run half marathons around the world to achieve his goal, clocking up over 13,000km.

He took up running after coming to New Zealand from the Netherlands, although he isn't sure exactly why.

Dick says it might be the beauty of the running tracks here.

He developed an enjoyment of running on a regular basis and after a few years realised he may be able to set the goal of 100 half marathons in 10 years.

That was in 2014 when he had completed about 41 events. The following year he did 14 half marathons and that got him on track for his goal.

But there was added motivation when tragedy stuck the family in 2011.

Dick and his wife Warin were on holiday in Australia and she felt ill.

She thought she had the flu, but it wasn't going away so the couple went to Waikato Hospital where Warin was diagnosed with lung cancer and told she had a year or two to live.


It made no sense to the couple.

Warin didn't smoke or drink alcohol. She was just 49 and otherwise in excellent health.

She lived for just nine months after the diagnosis.

Dick says the only positive outcome was that it brought him closer to his children Richard and Nicole.

Two years after his wife's passing, Dick, who is manager of Hamilton's Novotel Tainui Hotel, decided to honour the memory of his wife by combining his two passions, running and helping other people, by holding a fundraising event.

He ran a treadmill marathon in the hotel, with funds going to the Cancer Society which had given the family so much support during Warin's illness and treatment.

The event attracted a lot of support — including from a number of All Blacks who were staying in the hotel at the time.

He then decided the 100 half marathon goal would also be for a cause and he encourages people to support him by donating to Red Cross.

Dick is also a high achiever in his chosen career — managing hotels in his home country, then around the world before coming to New Zealand to establish Ibis in Christchurch.

The family came to the Waikato when he won the top job at Novotel Tainui and set up home in Cambridge.

In 2012 he was named Waikato Business Leader of the Year.

He says running is like setting any other goal — set some targets, work towards them, believe in yourself and work hard — but have time for family and fun as well.

Support Dick's 100 half marathon challenge here.