Going for broke: Former Queensotwner Emma Timmis is attempting to run the length of NZ in just 21 days. PICTURE: RYAN THORPE


Former Queenstowner Emma Timmis is a woman on a world record-breaking mission.

The 37-year-old, who relocated to North Canterbury about 18 months ago, set off from Cape Reinga on Sunday morning, intending to run the length of New Zealand, following State Highways — a distance of 2100km — in a mind-boggling 21 days.

Aiming to clock up 100km daily, which she reckons will take her between 12 and 16 hours a day, she’s hoping to take a full fortnight off the current Guinness World Record women’s time of 35 days, 27 minutes, set by the UK’s Menna Evans early last year.

Timmis is no stranger to the world record book.

In 2017, she unofficially broke the record after finishing a 74-day ‘elliptical’ bike ride,
covering 7951.9km across Australia, and in 2014 she ran across Africa — the 3974km
distance equivalent to 94 marathons — in 89 days.

That resulted in her writing her first kids’ book, The girl who ran across Africa, detailing her

Timmis says she’s had this run on the cards for about four years, but for three of those has
battled with injury.

‘‘Now that I’m back into it, I just want to get in there.

‘‘I just wanted to explore this beautiful country and I’m a massively keen runner, so it seemed obvious to do it on foot.’’

Supported the whole time with a crew of three in a campervan, Timmis has given her run a ‘21 theme’, hoping to raise $21,000 each for youth mental health charities Youthline, in NZ, and YoungMinds in the UK, while also encouraging her followers to do 21 minutes of exercise every day.

All going to plan, she’ll finish in Bluff on January 8.