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Braveheart’s 777 Marathon – Perth

Having shared a very special morning in Sydney’s eastern suburbs to celebrate my nephews Christening with my brother and his beautiful family in town from Vietnam it was with a heavy heart that I would have to leave within minutes of having the immense privilege of becoming Godfather to George. This proved to be a lot more difficult than first thought with very limited opportunities for us to catch up as a family I was prepared to sacrifice these special memories to help support and shine a light on the work the Braveheart’s charity are doing in running the 777 Marathon series after receiving an invite to run the only 7 day marathon event across Australia starting out with the long flight across country from Sydney to Perth.

On arrival into Perth I started to notice a tickle in the throat and the onset of what seemed to be a flu which was a concern that I would attempt to ignore for now. It was not long before meeting up with Levi Chalmers who revealed he had never run a marathon and would also be running all 7 marathons in 7 days which was so awesome. It was not too long before Evan Donaghue and Amanda Arrowsmith from the event company ‘Aurora Adventures’ greeted us at Perth Airport before we soon tuned in to the State of Origin coverage with the Game 2 decider getting under way while on the 25 minute drive to find the remainder of the crew who were waiting for us to arrive at the “Lucky Shag Bar” on Barrack Street Jetty.

The majority of the team were all gathered outside under the heaters watching the game with lots of friendly faces ready to enjoy a bite to eat and share stories while in anticipation of the challenge that was ahead of us over the coming week. It was very nice to meet so many inspiring individuals clearly on a mission to make a difference while also catching up briefly with Kayleen Johnston and Jess Ward the two leading ladies responsible for bringing the event together from Braveheart’s Head Office.

Following a short walk through Perth to find the Duxton Hotel on St Georges Terrace a few people including the Chief Medical Officer Matt Boyd went missing when passing close by the Gelatissimo store while my priority was to make it back in time to catch the final moments of the game with NSW wrapping up the series 2-0 for the first time since 2014. It was soon after that we were to gather for a briefing which provided me with the opportunity to distribute Altra Trucker Hats, Buffs and other goodies to the national runners and support team with everyone introducing themselves and the final review of what was ahead of us in terms of the event and travels plans on Day 1 in Perth.

It was a very early 5am start to meet up with the team in the foyer to travel to the start line ahead of the Day 1 start at 6am. On arrival we received our Race Bibs for the week and posed for a group photo united by the challenge over the coming 7 days. It was great to have the opportunity to meet up with my good mate Glen Quartermain joining me to run the Day 1 marathon to help get the week started. Glen is the Sports Editor for the Western Australian Newspapers and an absolute legend who I highly respect. It was very nice to have his support in sharing the journey with me in person and also promoting the Braveheart’s 777 event with a valued mention in the lead up in The Sunday Times and by reaching out to Channel 7 in an attempt to secure additional coverage of the event while in Perth.

The cool morning and darkness would soon give way to a picture perfect morning where the day 1 course would see runners heading out along the Swan River and returning to pass the start line before venturing out to a view across to the spectacular new Optus Stadium. Glen and I both agreed it was a smart move to take it easy together on the first day with the challenging schedule ahead for the week. I was approached by Kayleen for a quick interview while on the run with a Channel 10 journalist and speedily agreed to help share a little more of the story to promote the cause and support raising awareness of the Braveheart’s mission which would later be featured on the Ten Eyewitness News in Perth.

It was awesome to see the super impressive level of fitness and performances across the select 12 runners taking on the national challenge with my priority to pace myself during the week leading up to the Gold Coast Marathon finish line. It was a immense privilege to share stories with Glen while on the run over 6 hours before time for a much needed quick massage and returning to the hotel for a quick shower before hitting the road to continue the journey in Adelaide.

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