Canterbury man to run 100km in gumboots to raise money for struggling farmers

George Black wants to help local farmers.
George Black wants to help local farmers. Photo credit: Getty Images

A Canterbury man is planning on running 100km in gumboots this month in a bid to raise money for farmers struggling in the region.

George Black says he was inspired to do his part to help local farmers after seeing them battle dry conditions earlier this year. And the wild weather and flooding over the past week has only hardened his resolve.

"It's obviously been a real tough autumn for the farmers down here and now this weather that has happened has just [compounded] that to no end," Black told Newshub.

"It's going to be a pretty hard winter for a lot of these guys." 

Hailing from Hawarden, around an hour north of Christchurch, Black comes from a farming family and worked as a farmer himself up until a week ago. He now works as a rural real estate agent but is determined to do what he can to help those in the agriculture sector.

"The industry's a bit tough at the moment, with a few different factors going on, so I just wanted to lend a hand where I could," he says.

Although he doesn't consider himself a runner, Black does have two marathons under his belt already and has run up to 76km while training for the big day, which will take place on June 10.

And though he's only worn gumboots once so far while training, he's confident they won't be too much of an obstacle.

"I did a 26km run in the Redbands and it didn't feel too bad," he says.

George Black is hoping to raise $10,000.
George Black is hoping to raise $10,000. Photo credit: Supplied

His route will take him along local back roads starting near Hawarden and he estimates he will be running from 4am to 4pm.

"Hopefully it goes a bit better than that, and I might be done in 11 hours but I've allowed 12 just in case."

All the money donated will go to the North Canterbury Rural Support Trust, and Black says he is aiming to raise $10,000 in total.

A Givealittle page set up by Black for the run has so far received just over $6000.

Arni Smit, regional coordinator of the North Canterbury Rural Support Trust, said the organisation was "incredibly grateful" to Black for his fundraising efforts.

"Farmers in Canterbury are having a pretty tough time at the moment and the sponsorship received for George's remarkable effort will go a long way towards helping us provide additional wellbeing support to our farming community."