“Will was only 20 when he passed away and he continues to be a huge inspiration,” Bonsey says. “He was an amazing surfer but due to his condition he felt trapped in his own body. It was painful to realise that he’d never again enjoy the paradise of being surrounded by a pristine ocean.”
Less than six months after his brother’s death, on a busy summer’s day in Bondi, Bonsey was appalled to see the beach covered in a blanket of garbage. The keen runner grabbed two empty sacks and decided to combine his evening workout with a clean-up. To his surprise, another runner stopped and asked if he could help. The next Sunday they invited their friends along and since then, through social media, it’s grown.
TO THE BEACH RESCUE
A 2013 CSIRO study found that for every Australian, there are 5.2 pieces of rubbish on our beaches, and over 70 per cent of marine debris is plastic. On a typical Sunday, the Responsible Runners’ haul includes everything from takeaway containers and plastic cutlery to discarded children’s toys and lost phones.
“In Bondi alone, we’ve picked up more than 4.5 tonnes of garbage so far,” Bonsey says. That includes 2300 cigarette butts in a single 30-minute session,
The Responsible Runners Bondi group after a clean-up
Want to burn calories and ease your conscience? Join the “eco-exercise” movement, writes Amy Molloy