All in a day's work: Ultrarunner Tanya Surrey during her 24-hour 'Peak of Possibility' challenge at Wanaka's Roys Peak


Till last Saturday, Tanya Bottomley had never run up Wanaka’s Roys Peak.

But last weekend the City Hall animal control officer ran up, and back down, eight times, the equivalent of about 120km and 10,000 metres of climbing, in a ‘Peak of Possibility’ challenge.

Simultaneously she raised money and awareness for national domestic violence support charity, Shine.

Bottomley, who hoped to climb the equivalent of Everest, at 8849m, only stopped for five-minute food breaks during her 24-hour mission, which tarted at 10am last Saturday.

‘‘It was a big 24 hours,’’ she says.

‘‘I believe it’s just over 14km per lap … I was hoping for six-and-a-half laps, so seven summits, but we got to eight with time to spare.’’

Averaging about 2 hours 45 minutes per lap, Bottomley says she had pacers for all but one-and-a-half laps — her fourth lap was done solo and was her fastest (2hrs 38mins).

While she’s been running for about 13 years, and has been doing ultramarathons for the past three, Bottomley says her weekend’s effort is ‘‘probably my best performance’’, but her body’s taken a battering, seizing up as soon as she finished her last descent.

‘‘It’s amazing how it does that.

‘‘If I had to do more laps I probably could have, but as soon as I stopped … it’s all over.

‘‘I struggled to wobble up to get to the toilet.

‘‘I was in the lake [on Monday], which was pretty good … but my quads are pretty shot, to be fair, they’re not working very well right now.’’

Along the way she also managed to raise more than $2000 for Shine, a charity which supported her when she left an abusive relationship about six-and-a-half years ago.

Bottomley says while Shine’s Auckland-based, it operates throughout New Zealand with its free phone number, providing support for people in abusive relationships, or advice to people who want to help others.

‘‘They’re amazing.

‘‘Raising money [for Shine] was important, but also just talking about domestic violence and having conversations.

‘‘Far too many women die in NZ every year and one in two women in NZ will be affected by domestic violence.

‘‘It’s huge and we don’t talk about it enough.’’

Bottomley, who moved to the Queenstown Lakes from Nelson about six months ago, is now turning her attention to next year’s Northburn 100 Miler.

It was pulled in March due to Covid, which also upset her attempt to become the first woman to complete the Southern Seasons Miler Challenge, or four 100-mile races in 12 months.

She’s also contemplating entering NZ’s first 200-mile race, scheduled at the moment for Naseby in August.