By PHILIP CHANDLER
Queenstowners claimed the women’s and men’s titles at last weekend’s brutal 24-hour endurance run, Crush the Cargill, in Dunedin.
From a record field of 103 humans and nine canines, Brandon Purdue, who completed 17 summits (145km), won the men’s race to claim the Cargill Twig trophy, while Brooke Thomas set the women’s course record with 16 laps (136km).
Thomas is no stranger to gutbusters — early this year, she set the women’s record of 57 days, 12 minutes, for the 3000m length-of-New Zealand Te Araroa Trail.
Thomas, along with the second- and third-placed women, Hadani Woodruff and Chloe Vincent, are coached by local AerobicEdge ultrarunning coach Adam Keen.
As a training run, Keen — who completed 17 summits to win the event in 2019 — knocked out 12 laps.
For both Thomas, 33, and Purdue, 40, it was their first race on Mt Cargill.
Thomas says ‘‘it was pretty tough conditions, it was rainy and cold, but there was an awesome atmosphere — everyone was in high spirits, and that just keeps you going’’.
Purdue, whose main focus is adventure racing, says the technicality of the track started to
take a toll — ‘‘20 hours in, every rock is a little bit of an obstacle’’.