Another S-K record!

Update 1 February 2016

You can now read Jean’s story of her S-K  here.


The latest news is that Jean Beaumont has just become the first woman to complete the Main Range S-K under 24 hours, solo and unsupported! An truly amazing effort of 23 hours 43 minutes given that conditions were apparently marginal.

The same day two men also independently  completed the trip in under 24 hours: Dave Allen in 23 hours 44 minutes (solo and unsupported) and Paul Helm 23 hours 50 minutes (solo but supported).

More details when available.

Seems that now the ‘new norm’ for the  Schormann to Kaitoke is under 24 hours, unsupported and solo – which has to be the true test of a mountain runners ability in the same way speed climbing on high peaks has become. Exciting times for the S-K. What comes next?

7 thoughts on “Another S-K record!”

  1. Hi all, I think some info’s got mixed up in translation – I was solo/unsupported so did the SC alone and in daylight (as per plans from the outset), perhaps this comment referred to Paul and names got confused? It was a truly fantastic and memorable trip, I personally wouldn’t want to give the impression it was miserable, even in bad weather.

    Tony – thanks for another great calendar, really helps bring those beautiful hills into our home. Also, I’m intrigued by the idea of a triple crossing – are there any established tramping rules to the middle crossing (Francis Creek vs Mid-Waiohine vs Park Forks etc) or open to interpretation?


    • Hi Dave – Tony asked me to pose a reply to the question of the triple crossing as follows:

      “Normally the middle crossing is taken to be via Mid Waiohine but our view is that ANY route from Holdsworth Road end to Otaki Forks road end is a ‘middle crossing’. The triple crossing in a weekend is a trip that has been waiting to be done for some time.”

  2. The other next evolution has to be the obvious three crossings (Southern, Middle and Northern) in 48 hours. They all link up nicely – and would make for a busy weekend.

  3. Tim Sutton is eyeing up all Tararua 1500 peaks in 48 hours…That seems to be the next evolution. But we are hoping for more people to have a go at S-K 24. We have 4000 visitors and over 10000 views to the website we created last year. If you are interested in trying let us know because we have ateam of people ready to lend support to peoples attempts if requested.

  4. Yes you are correct Anne – Lou was the first woman to complete a Main Range S-K in under 24 hours – refer to the earlier newsletter post.

    However, Lou was running as a pair with Al Shelton although they were essentially unsupported, whereas Jean was both solo and unsupported.

    Now – depending on your outlook on life there may be a ‘but’ to both these records. Do you count that Lou and Al had someone meet them more by chance than anything on the Marchant Ridge for an hour or so as ‘support’ even if they offered no real physical benefits?

    And does the fact that there were others on the S-K at the same time as Jean and she knew they were there even if they had contact only for a few seconds as they passed in the mist as negating the claim to be solo?

    Who knows! There is sure to be much discussion had yet on what exactly qualifies as ‘unsupported’ and ‘solo’ for an S-K but for the moment I am happy that Lou was first woman under 24 hours unsupported, and Jean was first woman unsupported and solo. Purists may disagree (and I may yet change my mind) – what are other’s views?

    But anyway – what makes Jean’s S-K all the more impressive was the very bad weather especially for the last SMR section. A supporter who went across the Southern Crossing in the wind, rain and darkness with Dave reported that he was as miserable as he had ever been in the Tararuas.

    So finally – whatever the disagreements both Lou and Jean’s efforts are outstanding – they both deserve full praise.

    • Exciting times are afoot in them there hills. It’s interesting how quickly “Chinese Whispers” kick in, Dave was alone throughout the journey with no company on the Southern Crossing let alone the rest of the journey, and yet apparently there was a “supporter” with him. During his inspiring Solo/Unsupported epic all the way back in 1988, Garry Goldsworthy accepted a brew from a pair of strangers at Maungahuka on his way through. Does this count as support, I wouldn’t have thought so. How is Dave accepting a brew at Kime from friends who happen to be up there supporting a fully supported result any different? When I ran my S-K back in 2015 I later found out that a couple of friends had caught wind that I was out in the hills and headed in from Otaki Fork’s with the intention of cheering me on at Kime on my way through. In the end I beat them there and was totally unaware that they were even in the same hills, but had they been there cheering would that have negated my unsupported approach? Al and Lou had no idea of the runners coming in from Kaitoke Road end and having broken the monsters back it would take an interesting kind of person to suggest that their mammoth effort was supported. My own Father, waiting for me in Kaitoke decided to start walking in instead of killing time in the Carpark, does this make me supported? The fact that there were three different parties in the hills on the one day was total coincidence ,they’d all been waiting for a weather window (which wasn’t much of a window in hindsight) for their separate adventures while there was still good light. I recon these achievements should be celebrated as the amazing feats that they are (especially with the atrocious weather) to inspire others to dream big and get among our amazing backcountry. It’s a pity efforts like this get pulled apart…

  5. Louise Bekinsdale ran an SK in 2015 in under 24 hours. This was early December. 2015. possible the 5th or 6th.


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