Close-run thing: Queenstown ultrarunners Phil Gerard, left, and Dave Pearson were separated by just over two minutes at last month’s Tarawera 100-miler

A Queenstowner in his 50s has completed the no-mean-feat of running three 100-milers in successive years.

Phil Gerard last month completed his third Tarawera Ultra-Trail 100-miler (162.5km), finishing in Rotorua in just under 29 hours and vowing and declaring it’ll be his last.

When entering his first, he was inspired by a moving film on the event, Chasing Pounamu, about runner Adrian Henry, telling Mountain Scene: ‘‘My dad’s name was Adrian as well, so I kind of just had that in the back of my mind I was doing it for my dad.’’

After the event, he told Scene it was his ‘‘first and last 100-miler’’.

Explaining why he carried on, he says ‘‘you basically forget pretty quickly all the pain’’.

He gave his pounamu from his first two finishes to his sons, Joel, 18, and Charlie, 16, ‘‘so I guess [this year] I chased my own pounamu’’.

This year was Gerard’s fastest 100-miler, which he attributes to almost six months’ training through Rotorua’s Squadrun programme.

As a result, he says ‘‘I felt strong and I didn’t hallucinate, I didn’t sleep and I didn’t even get tired’’.

‘‘I ran further than I probably previously had.’’

He also got his second wind and ran 8km from the last aid station to the finish-line.

Gerard co-founded the weekly Queenstown Parkrun 5km runs, and nowadays runs the local Monday Runday group — a social running group which runs between 6km and 14 km every Monday.

Several other Runday runners also completed the Tarawera 100-miler, including Dave Pearson, Kris Vermeir and Cam Bulot.

Pearson beat Gerard by just over two minutes but says he’s not claiming any bragging rights as he’s only 35.

‘‘Talk to me when I’ve done three [100] milers and if I’m in the same age bracket [as him].’’

Meanwhile, Gerard says he now intends restricting himself to races of 100km or less.

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