Mary McFly … all revved up with places to go. PHOTO/EMMA BROWN

EMMA BROWN
emma.brown@age.co.nz

With duct tape in hand and a packet of pain killers ready, Masterton’s Mary McFly [aka Mary Williams] is all set for the biggest run of her life.

After months of preparation and training, McFly will begin her quest to run the length of New Zealand on Saturday, starting from the bottom of the South Island.

She will cover a distance of 3000km, on the network of trails that wind through the islands.

The 24-year-old’s dual aim is to raise awareness and fundraise for the Mental Health Foundation of New Zealand.

“Mental health is something that I personally have struggled with for as long as I can remember,” McFly said.

“I want to create more open conversation about what’s going on for each of us and encourage those who are struggling to talk to someone.”

McFly predicts her journey will take approximately 100 days.

Her supply parcels are all packed and lined up at home, ready to be sent to different locations to help her refuel along the journey.

McFly said even after all her training, she does not think her body can be truly ready to endure what she is going to put it through.

She is mentally prepared however, and ready to push her limits in order to complete the trip.

“[The distance], it’s sort of hard to comprehend, until I start.”

Although she will not have support crew following her, safety was paramount, and she plans to take a personal locator beacon.

Whenever she has reception, she also plans to send an update to her mum and put a post on Facebook to show her progress and see if anyone wants to join her along the way.

After training in the mountains of Canada, she is happy not to have to worry about bears on this trip.

“I didn’t find my passion for trail running until I started really exploring the trails in Canada, which only made me think of home and the incredible trail network we have in New Zealand.

“I found that being outdoors in nature alleviated so much mental disease, and I want to promote it as a way to cope in those difficult times.”

People can follow McFly’s journey on Facebook, @marysontherun.

She encourages anyone wanting to join her on the trail for a couple of days to get in contact.

  • Anyone wishing to donate can go online to events.mentalhealth.org.nz/fundraisers/marysontherun