Man Runs 100km in Gumboots

Those quirky Kiwis are at their goofy antics again. This time, one man has suffered blisters, a sore gut, a bleeding nose, and jelly legs while running 100km in a pair of gumboots.

George Black, a 24-year-old real estate agent, left from rural North Canterbury, on the central part of the South Island of New Zealand. He ran through Hawarden’s Peaks, Amberley, Rangiora, and eventually finished in Christchurch’s Hagley Park, 100km north. A symphony of supporters greeted him. He says he undertook his peculiar quest to raise proceeds for farms that had suffered from recent flooding.

Earlier this month, the Canterbury region suffered extensive damage when floods ravaged the area in record rainfall. Many farmers had only just rebuilt after Cyclone Debbie.

Wearing a pair of size 8 Red Band gumboots, Black left at 4 am, long before sunrise, and ran in his clodhoppers for 12 hours. His feet were “destroyed”, he admitted afterward, with cuts, scrapes, and plenty of blisters. “I’m absolutely buggered, and so are my feet,” he said.

Black used to run 10km along backroads near his family farm. Last March, he increased his distance dramatically, running 75km from the farm to Christchurch. But that was in sneakers.

Once he’d run 75km, he felt confident about adding another 25km. “I thought I would put on some gumboots to make it harder,” he said.

Boots, and feet, post-100km. Photo: Stuff NZ


“I’m just running 100km in gumboots, and it’s not going to solve the world’s problems,” said Black before his wacky run.

His supportive Mum drove alongside him for much of the journey, providing regular sock changes and water breaks.