Some people rattle cans to raise money for a good cause, others take part in charity fun runs, or may even climb a mountain. And then there’s Richard Bowles. At 10.30am tomorrow in Cooktown, Rich will run into the record books, when he finishes the 5,330 km run along the world’s longest marked trail; the Bicentennial National Trail (BNT) here in Australia. We’ve followed Rich’s progress throughout and featured a video of him recently as he described his journey over the last six months or so. We’re sure that when he finishes and wakes up the following day it will feel a little strange to not don his trainers and head out for another run!
‘It’s been a journey of a lifetime. Five and a half months after setting out from Healesville in Victoria, to do what has never been done before – running the entire BNT,’ said Richard. Certainly this is a fine achievement and to have finished the run with relatively little or no injury issues is a feat to be commended in itself.
‘I’ve run into dams that weren’t on the map, fast flowing rivers, electric fences and just places where there is no track. You’ve got to keep reminding yourself that you are in the wilderness and need to take the safest option,’ adds Rich.
Of course, Richard has been running the BNT to raise awareness and money for SANE Australia. Richard and his partner Vickie Saunders list conversations with people affected by mental illness, receiving the contents of a child’s piggy bank and running inside the Burdekin Dam wall as highlights. According to SANE CEO, Jack Heath, one in five Australians will experience mental illness at some stage in their lives, yet stigma remains one of the biggest barriers to seeking help.
We’ll be catching up with Rich soon we hope for further insights and detail into his trip so stay tuned.