Rātā welcomes Te Araroa trail runner to Queenstown

 On Monday 10th December, ultra-marathon runner Richard Bowles ran into Queenstown and was a guest at Josh Emett’s restaurant Rātā as part of the Project Crimson fundraising efforts.

Since starting on Saturday 13 October, Richard has run (and crawled in some parts) 2752km of the 3054km Te Araroa trail which stretches from Cape Reinga to Bluff, where he aims to arrive on 15th December, raising funds and awareness for Project Crimson. 

Fleur Caulton and Richard Bowles

Rātā is the Queenstown flagship restaurant of Michelin starred chef Josh Emett and highly regarded local restaurateur Fleur Caulton. Rātā has joined Project Crimson’s family of supporters and a Rātā “Crimson” lunch has been developed specifically to support the Trust. The $50 four course lunch is being offered daily with a percentage of proceeds being donated to Project Crimson.

Richard dined with his support crew as guests of Rātā and charity partner Project Crimson.  Rich was in heaven, amazing food and lots of it, a young and vibrant team making his experience there unforgettable, and, by the looks of the picture with him and Fleur, enjoying a cheeky glass of Ata Rangi Crimson Pinot Noir!

The very talented head chef Helen decided to whip up a gastronimcal creation using Richard's gels and bars he has been living on during his run..... we're talking tempura, mousse, caramel filled chocolate bites.....it was incredible, and edible! You can watch more of this on Youtube here.

Rata's headchef Helen takes on Richard's Power Bars to make a more delicious meal of them!

Despite knee deep mud and overgrown trails, Richard has fallen in love with the beauty of New Zealand, “It’s absolutely stunning, every day is another bit of paradise!”  Richard is in awe of New Zealand’s natural beauty, but is also aware of its danger, having taken several decent tumbles down steep mountain sections, crossing fast flowing rivers, and chancing it in avalanche prone regions. So far he’s lived to tell the tale!

The Rata crew and Richard

Many people have run the length of New Zealand on relatively flat terrain and at a total distance of just 2,200km. Richard will run another 50% on top of this distance and on rugged, mountainous terrain. Richard says, “The trail less travelled offers the best adventures, and I’m all about challenging myself on a daily basis”.

The Te Araroa trail typically takes hikers 100 days or more to complete (Richard aims to complete it in 63 days). The trail offers people from all walks of life the ability to experience some of the most magnificent aspects of New Zealand’s natural beauty and in turn educates people about the importance of conserving the natural environment.