‘The Miracle Marathon Man’ has lived up to his nickname by running for 48 hours around a small university field to raise money and awareness of respiratory disease in New Zealand.

Nick Ashill, who is a Wellington ultra-distance runner, raised over $11,500 for Asthma and Respiratory Foundation NZ by running 680 laps of Boyd-Wilson field in Kelburn last weekend.

Ashill says the run is still a bit of a blur. “I didn't quite manage to reach the 300km goal, because I needed a few power naps along the way, but I did hit 272km and was able to outlast the lows.”

He is grateful for all of the support he received over the weekend, Ashill says.“An event like this brings people together and it was awesome to run with so many inspiring people. “New friendships were formed and there were some great conversations.”

The run - dubbed ‘Laps for Lungs’ - comes nearly six years after Ashill was left for dead in a ditch following an incident during a charity run across the United States. It was on day 81 of a charity run across America in 2017, when Ashill was struck by a vehicle in what appeared to be a deliberate hit and run.

After a long and arduous recovery Ashill tested his marathon capabilities again, six years later by running 24 hours in 2021 to raise funds for Breathe Better September. Then mid-2022, Ashill returned to the scene of the hit-and run in the US to finish the almost 5000km run that ended so abruptly in 2017.


The Breathe Better September campaign is close to Ashill’s heart, having lost his mum to the rare respiratory disease Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis in 2015.

Ms Letitia Harding, Chief Executive of the Asthma and Respiratory Foundation NZ, says, "We are in awe of Nick's tremendous achievement and are equally blown away by the support shown by so many. The money Nick has raised through his run will undoubtedly help us further support and educate hundreds of thousands of Kiwis facing respiratory health challenges."

A special thanks to our Friends of the Foundation partner, Comfortech, for their generous donation of $5000 to Breathe Better September and for the dedication from the Comfortech team who ran alongside Nick for 24 hours of his run. Their recap video is below

Also, a huge thank you to the Wellington Free Ambulance crew who ensured Nick had regular medical check-ups day and night.

Ashill’s 48-hour challenge this year was warm up for his next adventure – running Perth to Bondi Beach starting in April 2024.


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