‘UK Adventurer Runs Length of New Zealand’ screamed the headline in The Waikato Times, New Zealand’s famous North Island newspaper.
Then hundreds of excited school children laid on a huge, warm welcome for the new star in town.
When adventurer-athlete Anna McNuff, currently our furthest-flung Crewroom Ambassador, took on the challenge of running the equivalent of 76 marathons, she had little idea of what she was letting herself in for.
Brave Anna has endured swamps and jungles, climbed snow-capped mountains and circled sun-kissed lakes of stunning beauty.
She’s also treated her fans back home to a daily diary of hilarious anecdotes and inspiring videos that she’s filmed herself, literally while on the run.
Anna, 30, has thrilled local schoolchildren and been moved by their heart-warming messages of support. Her epic adventure has seen some casualties though – she’s already killed off four pairs of running shoes.
"This is actually a huge experiment," said Anna. "I've done some endurance stuff on bikes and I have a background as a rower but I've not run long distances before."
In the town of Feilding, central North Island, in the Manawatu region, Anna struck lucky. Back in London, at Crewroom HQ, Sophie O’Brien in Sales Support had a great idea.
Sophie linked up her Mum and Dad, Jill and Shane, who live in NZ, with Anna. And Sophie’s folks generously offered the weary traveller a bed for the night - and a fortifying, slap-up feast of traditional Kiwi roast lamb, mint sauce and kumera (local sweet potatoes).
"I was thrilled Anna stopped over at my house and that my Mum and Dad were able to offer her some traditional Kiwi hospitality,” said Sophie. “With all that running, Anna clearly needed a decent meal." Next day, Anna sped off again like a rocket!
At Hamilton's Deanwell Primary School, Waikato, Anna drew giggles from pupils as she showed them her "magic" cheer-me-up running trousers, part of her inspiring talk.
"A couple of years ago I just decided to start exploring the world, but under human power," she told them. "When I'm 80 years old I want to look back at my life and think it was awesome."We already think you’re awesome, Anna! Keep going.