You know you can catch a bus? Is what I’ve been told more than once since I started planning my Run across Australia, but where’s the fun, the extraordinary, the adventure in that?
I’ll run thanks.
And for my next fun extraordinary adventure run I’m gonna run across Australia.
Other comments I’ve had include – What? Why? How? Are you crazy?
I’ll admit that there’s possibly a little bit of crazy in the range, but for the most part I think that everything I’ve done has been the next logical step to take.
Each run adventure I’ve gone on has given me a next level goal to push towards, to see what I can achieve, and I keep finding that it’s way more than I originally thought possible.
I’ve had this one in my head since 2013, so really, at some point I figured I had to give it a go, otherwise it’d stay right there, in my head, and that’s not how you make dreams real, you gotta take action.
Aaaaand in regard to the Why comment, well I got a great big long list of whys (which I’ll write about in another post) but ultimately the simple response has to be Why Not.
So, what’s this run all about.
I’m going to be running from Cottesloe beach, Perth to Bondi beach, Sydney.
It’s approximately 4,000 kms, or 2,500 miles in UK money, from point to point. I’ve kept the distance at an approximate rounded (up) number. I’ve done enough of these adventures to know that plans change and keeping an adaptable and flexible attitude is the best way to get through them.
My goal is to run it in 63 days (cos 63 is a lucky number for me) which would beat the official Guinness World Record which currently stands at 67 days and some hours, and held by a man.
The route as it is currently planned out is 3,756 kms. If you divide this by 63 days, you’ll find I need to run about 63 kms (or 40 miles) a day.
When I seriously started looking at doing this, I’d successfully finished my 63 marathons in 63 days and the numbers for Oz – 63kms a day for 63 days – seemed such a wonderful coincidence that I had to find a way to make this happen.
When I say approximately 4,000kms, it kinda makes my brain freeze and my heart stutter, so I like to break things down into smaller chunks that my head can deal with. Basically, I’ll be running a parkrun 12 times a day … and then a little bit.
When I ran my 63 marathons in 63 days I used this mental picture of it being a park run 8 times a day … and then a little bit. It’s one of the mental strategies I use to make these great big adventures manageable, I’ll write more about this topic too in another post.
Along the route I’ll be running along the second longest straight road in the world – a long straight road that will take me 2 and a bit days to run through in a flat and shadeless expanse along the Nullabor plain – should be fun 😊.
I looked this fact up before a recent school visit and forgot to check out what the number one longest straight road was and sure enough, in each assembly one of the kid’s questions was “What was longest straight road in the world?”. I’ve looked it up and it’s Highway 10 in Saudi Arabia, 256 kms long. Thankfully, the 90 mile straight of the Eyre Highway in Australia that I’ll be running along is just a hop skip and a jump at 145.6kms – woohoo.
I’ll be running through three states, Western Australia, South Australia and New South Wales. This means I’ll miss my home state, Victoria, but I’ll be visiting my folks and friends before and after so I’ll be spending quite some time there too.
Obviously one of the most common and more serious questions I’m currently being asked about my route is “What about the fires?”
I’m going to be running through a lot of area that has been seriously impacted by the recent bushfires. The landscape that I thought I’d see, that I remembered from growing up, the abundance of gumtrees and wildlife, will either be gone or charred remnants will be all that remains.
I’m hoping that my run will both highlight the beauty of the country I grew up in, but also the issues that it faces, and that by sharing the images of the beauty, the damage, the regeneration, the resilience – I can bring my community of school children, runners, friends and family we’re building in the UK together with the community of school children, runners, friends and family we’re building in Australia to share a message of love, compassion, togetherness no matter what the distance is.
And on that note, I’ll sign off today’s blog here, but just to let you know. I’ll be writing a whole lot more on the What? Why? How? Craziness? of getting this adventure to the start line and then of course the whole shebang of the adventure itself.
PS. If you would like to take part in the virtual run, see how far across Australia you can run in a year, and be a part of our Chasing Extraordinary community then click here and join up.
The entry fee is helping me raise money for the charities I support (Children With Cancer UK and Australian Red Cross) and you’ll also be helping me fund this world record challenge.
Thank you in advance – your support means the world to me. xxx