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100-mile ultra marathon runner overcomes childhood fear of dark to win race

JO MCKENZIE-MCLEAN

Northburn Station 100 miler mountain run winners Polly Taylor, of Blenheim, and Glenn Sutton, of Dunedin who finished the race in a time of 36:51:09 and 24:35:43 respectively.

Polly Taylor and the dark "are not good friends".

The 58-year-old guide from Blenheim, overcame her fear of the dark to not only participate in the Northburn 100-mile mountain run through Central Otago high country - but win it.

"As a child my two older sisters used to scare the s..t out of me in the dark and so I always knew this was going to be the hard bit for me, because me and the dark - we are not good friends. Before the race I would get up at 2am and train in the dark just to get used to it." 

Northburn Station owner Tom Pinckney, Adam Keen, of Queenstown (3rd), Kieran O'Brian, of Brisbane (2nd), Glenn Sutton, of Dunedin (1st), with female top placegetters Polly Taylor, of Blenheim (1st), Sally Law, of Wanaka (2nd) and Jentjie Klooster, of Auckland, (3rd), and race organiser Terry Davis.

Taylor spent 36 hours and 51 minutes navigating her way across the mountainous terrain - something she thinks everyone should do.

"It was my first 100 miler ever. I actually really, really enjoyed it. I really loved it. Life is for living. Everyone should do it. I spent most my life mustering in the high country so this for me was so great, it was like being back home. It's just a big day out there and you have to get the job done. It's just a day in the hills."

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