For Ben Fraser, the best part of running from Christchurch to Queenstown was not crossing the finish line.
It was hearing from a woman who had decided to seek help, after following his and Kerryn Bell’s 500km mental health awareness and fundraising run last week.
“It made the whole thing worthwhile,” Fraser said.
“We met that lady at the finish. She had been battling the last few months and she decided if we could run from Christchurch to Queenstown, she could go and get some help.”
Alongside Bell, his running coach, Fraser started the run in Christchurch on November 23, and finished in Queenstown six days later.
The pair finished on time, although Fraser was forced to sit out a portion of the last day due to blowing out his knee.
“Pretty much from the knees down, the legs are shot,” Fraser said while recovering last week.
“It’s what you are dealing with on a run like that.
Fraser and Bell were joined at various stages of the run by different people, which was a highlight for Fraser.
“It was pretty special,” he said.
They had raised more than $15,000 for Lifeline through Everydayhero.
“We are over the moon, really happy.
“It was an unforgettable journey.”
The slog along State Highway 1 from Christchurch in 26degC heat was tough, as was his injury.
“Both Kerryn and myself absolutely hated that,” he said.
“It just plays with your mind, our crew would stop every 5km to top us up with water.
“When you get those long straight roads you can see them and it doesn’t feel like you are getting there.”
After tackling his longest run, he said, “I have no idea [what’s next], I’ll be having a couple of relaxing weeks.”