RUNNING 1000km can only be described as “epic” by two friends preparing to complete WA’s famous Bibbulmun Track from Albany to Kalamunda.
The real kicker, the pair aim to battle the bush trail in 12 days, beating the current record of 15 days, 9 hours and 48 minutes.
It might seem daunting for even the most experienced long distance runners but for sports physiologists Shane Johnstone and James Roberts, it is a chance for adventure and an opportunity to help others.
The challenge will raise funds for the Be Inspired Foundation, established by Mr Johnstone in 2016 after he recognised a gap in availability of active rehabilitation services for youth.
“Be Inspired Foundation is all about giving disadvantaged youth the opportunity to access rehab and exercise and diet counselling,” he said.
“Things like cancer, disabilities, major traumas or diabetes or cardiovascular issues, they all need intensive and high level care.
“If they come from a low socio economic bracket they come out of hospitals, where they can access the care, but when they go to outpatient there’s nothing there for them.”
Mr Johnstone (Caversham) and Mr Roberts (Maida Vale) met during a race through John Forrest National Park two years ago (where they placed first and second) and discovered a shared career in sports physiology and a love of long distance running.
“The whole concept of running 1000km is just mind-blowing, if you think okay I’m going to run 1000km it would overwhelm you, but when you break it down, day by day, hour by hour it sounds quite achievable,” Mr Johnstone said.
“7kms an hour is almost walking pace but that’s for 13 hours a day for 12 days and your body has to hold up for that not including hills, weather, who knows what could happen.”
With several 100km races up their sleeves and a trek to Mount Everest base camp for Mr Roberts, the pair said they looked forward to experiencing the beauty of their home state.
“The Bibbulmun Track is pretty spectacular, the scenery, you go past so many dams, Wellington Dam, Harris River Dam, Mundaring Weir, all the beaches,” Mr Johnstone said.
“Every bit of new trail is so cool and there’s no way we could have trained on the full 1000kms so it’s all unknown and pretty epic and I think that’s going to make it really exciting.
“I like the adventure element it offers compared to races, races are very structured and known; I think the whole point of the Bibbulmun Track is to inspire city folk to go out to the bush.”
For those of us struggling with the idea of one marathon let alone two back-to-back every day for 12 days, Mr Johnstone said each person’s goal was relative to their training and it did not matter how small you started, just to give it a go.
After a few weeks of recuperation, the Foundation will hold a finale celebration at the Kalamunda Hotel.
Mr Johnstone and Mr Roberts will be there to talk about the good and the bad and what happened on the track.
An auction and other fundraising efforts are running throughout and after the event.
To find out more visit www.beinspiredfoundation.com.au
By Claire Ottaviano