The North Face Runner Jez Bragg Attempts New Zealand's Te Araroa Trail

British Ultrarunner Takes On Challenge to Run 1898 Miles In 50 Days From North To South

The North Face®, the world's premier supplier of authentic, innovative and technically advanced outdoor apparel, equipment and footwear announces the exciting plans of renowned British ultra runner, Jez Bragg, who today embarked on an expedition to run the length of New Zealand's Te Araroa Trail (1898 miles/3054km) within 50 days.

The Te Araroa Trail opened in December 2011 and runs the full length of New Zealand from the top of the North Island in Cape Reinga to the bottom of the South Island in Bluff. At 1898 miles/3054km, it rivals some of the world's greatest long distance trails such as the Appalacian Trail and the Pacific Crest Trail in the US. The majority of the route is off-road, through challenging and remote terrain presenting all sorts of different challenges. There are also some short road sections and several estuary crossings as well as a long down-stream paddle on the Whanganui River.

The North Face® athlete Bragg will, for the main, run solo with a ‘fast and light' strategy. Bragg, used to running ultra-races such as the 104 miles/168km The North Face® Ultra-Trail du Mont-Blanc® plans to complete the route north-to-south in a period of under 50 days, averaging between 37-50 miles (60-80km) per day for the full duration. Supported by a support crew of two, medic Dr. Mark Taylor and expedition coordinator James Ashwell, the team will follow him in a motor home providing logistical support where possible. Bragg expects to encounter long stretches of trail where support won't be possible, and during those periods he will carry a fast-pack setup to provide complete self-sufficiency. On the South Island, where the terrain is particularly challenging and accumulative fatigue becomes more of a factor, Bragg will be joined for intermittent running support from his US team-mate The North Face® athlete, Mike Wolfe.

Bragg will wear products from The North Face® Spring 13 collection including the Better Than Naked short sleeve, short and jacket; the Stormy Trail jacket and Hyper-Track Guide shoes, along with customized products provided by the product department to Bragg's exact specifications.

Before heading out, Bragg said: “Running this trail has been a dream of mine for several years and I have followed its progress with great interest. For me, ultra running is all about this type of adventure; the opportunity to explore remote and challenging landscapes in a very raw and pure way. There is no better way to explore a country like New Zealand with such outstanding natural beauty than to do it by foot. The work that has gone into getting this trail together to its eventual opening is simply mind-boggling. It will be a great honor to be one of the first to run it and hopefully showcase everything the country and the trail, has to offer. It will truly be an adventure of a lifetime.”
For further information on The North Face® performance athletes, trail-running products, upcoming ultra-running events, and the get ready for Ultra-Trail video training series click