World Exclusive: Crush the Cargill Interview

It’s taken me months, but finally towards the end of last week, Ultra168 managed to secure an interview with the illusive organisers of the world’s most mysterious race, Crush the Cargill. You may or may not have seen the series of mysterious posts on social media. Random awards of race entry, banners appearing at bizarre locations and banter worse than the jokes that come out of your Dad’s mouth.

Securing this interview wasn’t easy. On Friday afternoon I was bundled into Boeing 737, blind-folded and flown to a secret location in Australia’s Eastern most State. A strange and bizarre place with no snakes called, New Zealand. From there, I was placed into a sheep truck and driven to the top of the hill to record  one of the world’s most sought-after interviews with the organisers of this esteemed race.

Some say they will only accept Barkley Marathon winners as qualifiers. Some say that even New Zealand’s most celebrated trail runner and second best Hardrocker from Dunedin, Grant Guise can’t even get a start. This is the Crush the Cargill interview.

After months of mystery on social media, can you reveal what Crush the Cargill is?

Yeah, it’s Crush the Cargill. It’s the longest toughest highest most brutal 24 hour race in the world.

It’s also a fundraiser for CreekFest, a community run festival that raises awareness of natural urban ecosystems in a fun way.

It involves running up and down Mt Cargill for 24 hours starting at 10am December 15th.

We are proud of our status as the most environmentally friendly event in the world. We provide no plastic cups at aid stations. Race tshirts (as seen on our website) are fair trade and made from easily biodegradable all natural materials. Track markers and race packs are also fully biodegradable.

All the important race information is on our website ( but in essence we provide no aid stations, track marking or race packs. If you are silly enough to enter you need to look after yourself.

How do you qualify for this prestigious event?

Dunedin Parkrun is the main qualifier but we will also accept finishers of Badwater, UTMB, and even the Barkley Marathons under certain circumstances. Failing that, you could turn up on the day. All the details are on the Facebook event page and the website.

We ask all those participating for a donation towards the running of CreekFest. We also ask everyone who isn’t participating for a donation towards the running of CreekFest. Please donate. Details are on the website (

Who’s Running? Any favourites that we should be aware of?

We are expecting a great turnout of quality runners although many more are too terrified to enter.

Rumours are that Grant Guise might be turning up if he can overcome his nervousness. Brook (DNF) van Reenan  is hoping to finish on his first CtC start and then planning to do Te Araroa trail as a recovery walk.

James (I hate Dunedin) Harcombe, is making a rare visit to the sunny southern city and will be a strong contender.

The staunch Edendale communist tulip grower, Rudd Verplancke, is rumoured to be making his second attempt and is definitely one to watch. Especially crossing the dodgy bridges.

Jenna is aiming to defend her Canine Cargill Crusher title, but will face some stiff competition from Archie and Shadow who may be in better condition this year.

If Adam Keen can keep it up for 24 hours before driving home again, he is a top contender to beat Steve Tripp’s unbroken record.

The former New Zealand 24 hour running champion, Andrew Glennie, will be competing. Andrew is also the former Otago Masters half marathon champion. He was 4th at Invercargill Parkrun and is well-known as co-star of the highest rated Dirt Church Radio podcast ever.

Justin Hoani, the stair climbing specialist, will be competing in full fireperson regalia. Justin will be a top contender as he has the FKT on the Haast Eagle Omelet Strava segment overall as well as for weight and age.

Famed trail running peace-builder, Steve Tripp, will be attempting to improve on his long-lasting world record of 12 ascents in 24 hours. Steve has an impressive running pedigree as the first man in the 2015 Head for the Hills. He finished about 10 minutes behind Mel Aitken (who is too scared to compete in CtC). Steve is also a finisher of many Dunedin Parkruns.

Celebrated wooden spooner, Stefan Rapley, is considering a second attempt. Stefan performed well last year, spurred on by a delightfully sensual vision of Andrew Glennie in a reindeer themed mankini and fur seals on the track.

Edmund Hillary is also rumoured to be making an appearance. He considers himself unworthy of knighthood until he has crushed the Cargill.

Helen Clark has been invited but is yet to respond.

In spite of this wealth of running talent the event is open to lesser mortals who would like to push their boundaries and experience the exhilaration of watching their heroes do battle.

What do winners receive?

A lot of glory, boasting rights and a lifetime free entry to Parkrun. There may be spot prizes of Grant Guise’s used shoes and a few bits of used furniture.

How do you train for CtC?

Run Kepler Challenge two weeks before and then taper.

Will this be a yearly event?

So far, in the long history of Crush the Cargill, we have managed to put on the race every year. We are planning to maintain this great tradition at least until next Thursday. Basically it will be up to the organisers to decide and we don’t know who they are. It depends on how generously people donate

Anything else you would like to add?

What do you call a boomerang that doesn’t come back?

A stick.

Please donate generously.

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Dan on Twitter
I'm a mediocre runner who can bat above his average when I train hard. A man of extremes, I do enjoy everything life offers and consider it an absolute pleasure just to be able to put one foot in front of the other and let my mind wander somewhere different.

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