Mates 500 Relay 2012

Over the weekend I had the pleasure to be involved with a fantastic event to support the Regional Mens Health Initiative and the Prostate Cancer Foundation of Australia. In 2011, a group of 6 mates, Paul Omodei, Heath East, Matt Johnston, Anthony Stubberfield, Wayne Barndon and Tim Lyster, decided to run a 500 km relay to raise awareness of mens health issues. If that wasn’t enough distance to cover, the group decided they would cover 1000km in 2012.

The runners run 1km at a time, with the distance cutting back to 500 metres each during hilly sections, so effectively it’s 1 on, 5 off. It is a huge effort, both physically, mentally and also logistically for the support crew. With the support crew driving the runners bus, protection/support vehicles, organising food and water for everyone, ice baths at the end of the day and the organising of the fundraising events at the overnight stops. With the usual get up time of between 3 and 4 am daily, the group is on the road for anything up to 15 hours in a day.

This is the itinerary;

Day 1 – Nannup to Northcliffe via Manjimup and Pemberton – 122 km

Day 2 – Northcliffe to Cranbrook via Quinninup, Rocky Gully and Frankland – 182 km

Day 3 – Cranbrook to Dumbleyung via Tambellup and Katanning – 132 km

Day 4 – Dumbleyung to Kulin via Lake Grace – 151 km

Day 5 – Kulin to Narrogin via Wagin – 158 km

Day 6 – Wagin to Kojonup via Arthur River, Darkan and Moodiarrup – 142 km

Day 7 – Kojonup to Manjimup via Boyup brook and Bridgetown – 153 km.

That is a collective distance of 1040 km, with an individual tally of 199 km per runner. The individual tally also includes distance where the group runs through regional centres together. A massive effort.

Day 1 and 2 took the group through the winding roads and towering forests of the South West, with day 2 finishing on the edge of the wheatbelt. Day 3 saw the crew battle 40 degree temperatures…..while the media kept on about Perth sweltering through yet another heatwave (4 consecutive days above 38) 6 men were pounding the wheatbelt roads in 40 degree heat. the runners have also been well supported on the roads by Grant Johnson (running) and Nigel Reeve (cycling). Nigel had ridden over 200km by the end of day 3. There was also special runner appearances by Warwick Capper and Pamela Anderson!!!

The night time fundraising events will have guest speakers and will also include memorabilia auctions. Speakers include former ABC Sports broadcaster Glenn Mitchell and West Coast Eagle Premiership player and Norm Smith Medallist Dean Kemp.

In summary, 6 men, who used to all play football with or against each other, have banded together to raise awareness of mens health issues. Please get on board and support the cause. You can visit http://www.mates500relay.org.au or just click HERE and donate.

Here are a few photos from he first two days!

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~ by Jamie Nicolaou on March 13, 2012.

2 Responses to “Mates 500 Relay 2012”

  1. Awesome photos Jamie! Such a fantastic event! Musta been a real buzz to be a part of it 🙂

  2. While the life-expectancy gap between men and women has decreased, it’s no secret that men still need to pay more attention to their bodies. Several things work against men. They tend to smoke and drink more than women. They don’t seek medical help as often as women. Some men define themselves by their work, which can add to stress. *

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