06 May Endurance challenge raises money for local veterans
More than 200 runners and walkers raised over $25,000 for local veterans as part of the inaugural Walking 4 Warriors Endurance Challenge last month.
Organiser Craig Watson said he was overwhelmed with the community’s response to the event, which grew out of a desire to “challenge people to get outdoors and take on exciting adventures”.
“The idea I had was to run for 24 hours leading up to dawn services on ANZAC Day to provide a platform for mateship, and a safe place to discuss mental health, while honouring and showing our respect for our veterans,” he said.
Participants could choose to run and walk for six, 12 or 24 hours when registering for the challenge, which took place in Boyne Island across Sterling Park and Boyne Island State School.
With a staggered start, six and 12 hour participants finished at 4pm on April 24, while 24 hour participants finished at 4am on ANZAC Day.
“We made it clear to participants, prior to registering, that this had to be the hardest thing they had done, and we asked them to commit to stepping out of their comfort zone,” Mr Watson said.
“Our did not finish rate was very low, with most people being able to push through in order to complete their challenge, which is really impressive.
“Milestone wise, Rhys Williams achieved 115km in 12 hours while Mark Cations achieved 160km in 24 hours, which is just massive.”
Mr Watson said he would like to thank the event’s financial sponsors Calliope & District Community Bank, The Shed Company and High Risk Solutions.
“We’re so grateful to everyone that donated time, resources or skills to helping us create the event, and make it the success it has been,” he said.
“Especially Justin Devrell, Bec Watson, Hayley Taylor and Scott Taylor whose support, belief and sacrifice has been beyond belief.
“I would also like to thank the veteran community for trusting us with this task, and for their service and sacrifice.”
Mr Watson said the organising committee would sit down in the coming weeks for an event debrief.
“We will discuss the future of Walking 4 Warriors, you never know what’s around the corner,” he said.
Check out the Walking 4 Warriors Endurance Challenge Facebook Group Page for more photos from the event or to make a donation.