Greatest Run Ever is one of the most popular parts of the show, the bit where we ask you to write in to us and tell us your Greatest Run Ever. It doesn’t have to be a race or a mountain summit - it might just be a run around the block - but it’s a run that sung to you for some reason. Inspirational, funny, sad, delightful, everyday stories of running. Send it in to us or via our social media

January 16, 2019

Paul Hernandez

My Greatest Run Ever was the run that sparked the trail running flame for me.  It was the Dual Half marathon in 2014. I wanted to set a goal that seemed out of reach and work towards it, back then, 21km seemed too much to comprehend. I committed by purchasing the ticket and began the journey of trying to figure out what it meant to run 21km.  A friend of mine planned to run the race too, it would have been his first half marathon as well, however, he was unable to attend due to a prior commitment. So, I was to do it alone.

I travelled to the start by myself, via the ferry as did everyone else. I observed the other runners in their groups, with their fancy running outfits and shoes, and coloured K tape up their legs and around their shoulders... "that looks a bit excessive" I thought. I also experienced the requirement of cleaning my shoes before getting on the ferry, which was a first.

I remember warming up during the pre run briefing, thinking "... What if I get lost? How long is this going to take me?" I knew nothing about nutrition or water intake, I didn't even know what Strava was! So off I went with many other people.  My one goal was take my time, enjoy travelling up Rangitoto, and take some pics when I could. The course was awesome, the scenery is so beautiful. Having the opportunity to run around these stunning parts of the world is still the main reason why I love this pastime.

I finished the race in just under 4 hours. My partner and her friend made the trip over to Motutatpu to cheer me on at the finish line, which was super cool. The next available ferry back to Auckland wasn't for a couple of hours, so we took advantage of the afternoon sun, live music, hotdogs and beer/wine. We watched the prize giving ceremony and cheered on the top ranked runners who were called out. The spot prize were also called out, and just my luck, my name was called out and I won a two tickets trip to Rarotonga race for the Round Rarotonga Road Race.  I jumped up in the air with excitement as I ran towards stage, and I felt my left calf cramp up! It didn't matter, it was a magical day. That was my greatest run ever.

Hannah Matres


Just sharing a reflection on this race. Queenstown, my third full monty. First was Rotorua and second was Auckland, both of which I have trained solely for and got a good time and PR, all sub 4. Somehow, queenstown was the exact opposite. I trained for it but deep inside I was not confident I would run it strong. Just like Taupo ultra, I had colds again but lucky enough I felt better this morning. The weather picked up as well so that’s a bonus. So off I go starting from Arrowtown. The atmosphere was great! We ran beside picturesque mountains, there was a river, a bridge. Ultimately it was one scenic run, typical of what Queenstown has to offer. People cheered on. There was even a band playing a Foo Fighters song which was really cool! As a running geek, I analyze my races and as for this instance what went wrong? From the start I couldn’t keep my heart rate low, mid 170’s usually that is. My pace didn’t feel fast so I thought it was a combination of nerves and not having a shakeout run a day prior. Even my breathing was fine so I thought I’ll just base it on my effort. From 13km onwards, my heart rate was in the 180’s and still my breathing was fine. It went on like that and many times it reached 190’s up until the 32nd km where I hit bonkers. That nausea ‘gagging to puke’ feeling and light-headedness was awful. My legs were heavy but not that bad. But I knew if I carry on like that for the next 10km I’ll pass out. And I don’t play superhuman, I’m a nurse and it’s just not sensible to pass out in a race. It is meant to be enjoyed. I decided to walk most of it and ran when I can. It didn’t feel like a defeat to be honest. As for me marathons are always hard no matter how much experience one has. And just like life, shit happens, can’t always win but there will always be more races in the future. And I’m in Queenstown on a running holiday with my family. Best place ever! Such a great way to end a running year. Onwards and upwards for what’s next. 🙌💕 Despite the crappy performance this is my #greatestrunever. 🙏 Official time 4:18:59 🤣 @queenstownmarathon @garminnz#roadtoqueenstown #marathon#instarunners #mymedal

January 09, 2019

Craig Watson

My greatest run ever.

G’Day from sunny Queensland guys,

Thanks for a fantastic podcast I am close to finishing off listening to all of the previous episodes of Dirt church radio which I only recently found while reading through all the info on the Tarawera Ultra website.

I’d like to start by saying I’m one of the many that struggle with the concept of calling myself a

runner as I spend 90% of my time walking and hiking I am currently trying to learn to jog (see I can’t even say the word run lol) on the roads to complement my walking during tarawera 102km in Feb, I find jogging on trails so much easier and enjoyable than jogging on the road but I hope by doing some road jogging training it will help me develop some skills.

My greatest Walk ever ;) I believe was earlier this yr. 2018 while coming to the completion of 12 months training for the 2018 Kokoda challenge on the gold coast which is a 96km team event and my first exposure to the fact the people are actually capable of travelling these distances.

One of my team mates and I set a couple of challenges one of which was to complete 4 times walking up our local mountain (MT Larcom which is a 3.5km climb up 635m of elevation). We had no idea if this was achievable as most people, ourselves included, find just one trip up enough to justify an afternoon nap and a fair bit of whinging.

Before I start with how the walk went I’ll quickly explain what the trail is like up to the top of the mountain. The first 1km is fairly easy and something a runner could easily run then you start the middle ½ which is just step and slippery incline a fair portion of the 638m is in this stage and it is just straight up the hill with no switch backs to soften the blow, this section is what breaks most people’s spirits,once you reach the spur it’s is a bit gentler for a few hundred metres before a couple of rock climbs and another section of steep incline. The top section is all clambering up rock faces and makes for some interesting minutes before reaching the top and being able to take in a 360 degree panoramic view of the region. On to our climb

We started at 4am in the dark and set of conscious of trying to conserve energy but found that we summited in approx. 1hr 15min which is a fairly quick time for anyone especially when we hopefully had 3 more laps in our legs. The first lap was completed with the company of a friend who had always wanted to hike the mountain and was brave enough to make her first attempt in the dark hoping to see sunrise from the top, however we were a bit early and keen to keep rolling so off we trotted back to the car (our friend went on to climb the mountain again in wks. to come with her kids and caught her sunrise.)

Lap 2 we were accompanied by 2 of our other team mates and 1 of their kids we found this lap to be very much the same as the first a smooth walk and legs felt really strong giving us plenty of confidence it was a beautiful winters morning in central QLD approx. 18degrees and by the time we summited and started back down we started to pass a few of the 20 or so people that generally climb the hill on any given weekend day they all had a look of shock as we bounced down past them and over brief words of encouragement highlighted our days plan wishing them luck and promising to say hi on the next lap.

Prior to lap 3 we stopped for 15min to shovel a chicken wrap in using this as a chance to practice our checkpoint stops for Kokoda, we headed off feeling great with 1 of the 2 team members from lap 2 still with us so making 3 of us we worked our way back up towards the top focused on completing the challenge now that we realised it was achievable, we stopped to encourage a young couple who were sitting in tears trying to find what they needed to keep pushing to the top, we were so proud of them to find out later that they had finally made it after close to 6hrs total time on the mountain. I was really looking forward to the 4 th lap as my 10yr old son and his mate we going to be joining us to complete the challenge, they were excitedly waiting at the carpark for us with a typical survival pack for kids chips, lollies and if they were lucky 600ml of water. We quickly filled our camelback bladders and said good bye to our team mate who was heading home and with slowly fatiguing legs headed up for our 4 th and final trip. The UeBoom was pumping out tunes and we steadily climbed the dreaded middle section of the climb as we started on the spur line running up towards the final climb I hit a wall that nearly knocked me back down to the bottom and realised that not finishing my wrap was a huge mistake as I’d finally used up my last energy reserves. Luckily I had some peanut M&M’s in my pocket and couldn’t believe the boast of energy they provided letting me continue to the summit and triumphally hugged my son and shock hands with Jason my team mate as we celebrated achieving our goal with only having to tumble our way back down the hill injury free to finish a successful days training.

We completed the 4 climbs in approx. 8hrs and finished with 28km and over 2400m of elevation, obviously exhausted and with plenty of leg fatigue we couldn’t of been happier a couple of cold beers to rehydrate and recover had us searching for our families and as much food as we could find before crawling into bed with big smiles and finally feeling some confidence that it may even be possible to complete 96km and 4500m of elevation with the support of a fantastic team.

We went on to finish the Kokoda challenge in 28hrs with some heroic efforts by team members and support crews.

Can’t wait to see you all at Tarawera and hope to be crying and smiling as I cross the finish line



My name is Dave Jack. I am a Leo, I love cheese pizza, and long walks in the park....Anywho lets talk about my greatest run ever. Background I am a skateboarder and until about two years ago I never considered myself as a "runner". I was just running to keep the beer gut from taking over, but back to the story. Now I have so many great runs like my first marathon with my bros where I seriously laughed so much the whole way through my cheeks hurt after the race. But the one I want to tell you about is different and it just happened a few weeks ago.

Was talking with my friend Matt one morning at the school drop off and he said "Hey I am going to do time trials on Anzac hill today, want to come?" . I looked at him and said "Yep sure will text you if I can make"  In my head I was thinking, I hate that hill and there is no way I am running full speed up it. So I got home and for some crazy reason I texted him and said I am free at 11 hoping this would not work out in his schedule. His reply was cool pick up then.So that was it I was off to death hill.......We arrive 10 minute warm up then 3,2,1, go. So during the run there was no talking it was all business. I had never done a sprint up this hill before but had Matt and he had a time he was trying to beat. We were neck and neck the whole way I wanted to stop but I knew I couldn't. I got to the top just a little ahead of Matt looked at my watch and I knew he was going to beat his time. At that moment I got super excited was like watching my buddy do a new skate trick.The look of determination on his face coming up to the top and knowing he was going to do what he set out to do put the biggest smile on my face. At the top it was high fives and man hugs and for the rest of the day all I thought about was how stoked I was on the run and how he beat his PB.

So that was one of my greatest runs, having  fun and watching my homeboy kill his PB.


Thee Dave Jack

Inspirational, funny, sad, delightful, everyday stories of running.