Long road to bat­tle PTSD

Me­mo­rial Marathon a tough chal­lenge

Townsville Bulletin - - LIFESTYLE -

NUM­BERS con­tinue to grow in the Soldier On Me­mo­rial Marathon, part of this Sun­day’s McDon­ald’s Townsville Run­ning Fes­ti­val, with a soldier from 3RAR rais­ing his hand just a week be­fore the event.

Pri­vate Tye­sen Parker, a mem­ber of the 3RAR Ad­min Com­pany’s Trans­port Pla­toon, will join a run­ner each from 1RAR and 2RAR and two civil­ians run­ning 42.2km while wear­ing 10kg of body ar­mour to raise funds and aware­ness for Soldier On.

Pte Parker said he was con­fi­dent he would fin­ish the run, de­spite never hav­ing run so far be­fore.

“I’ve never run a marathon be­fore, but it’s for a good cause – I def­i­nitely want to be able to help the boys who serve our coun­try,” he said.

“The marathon is for Soldier On, sup­port­ing re­turned ser­vice men and women with Post Trau­matic Stress Dis­or­der ( PTSD). PTSD isn’t some­thing I’ve ex­pe­ri­enced, but I have def­i­nitely seen some of my serv­ing mates strug­gle with it when they have re­turned home from de­ploy­ment.’’

Pte Parker will be joined by 1RAR’s Pte Alex Rut­ledge, 2RAR’s Cpl Richard John­ston and civil­ians Leigh Ford­ham and Caine Wil­liams, who will all be run­ning in the Soldier On Me­mo­rial Marathon as part of the Tony Ire­land Townsville Marathon.

“The marathon should be good fun, I’ve never run that dis­tance be­fore, let alone with 10kg of ar­mour on,” Pte Parker said.

“I ran 20km the other day with the ar­mour and man­aged to fin­ish that, so now just have to add another 20km!”

Pres­i­dent of the Townsville Road Run­ners, Tony Gor­don, said the Soldier On Me­mo­rial Run was an im­por­tant new ad­di­tion to the McDon­ald’s Townsville Run­ning Fes­ti­val, and would be part of the fes­ti­val into the fu­ture.

“The Me­mo­rial Run is al­ready ex­ceed­ing ex­pec­ta­tions, at­tract­ing not just sol­diers from First, Sec­ond and Third Bat­tal­ions but two civil­ians as well. Hav­ing Tye­sen join the run will give the other guys even more com­pe­ti­tion and mo­ti­va­tion to fin­ish,” Mr Gor­don said.

“Soldier On is an im­por­tant or­gan­i­sa­tion, es­pe­cially to fam­i­lies and the com­mu­nity in Townsville.’’

The 17th An­nual McDon­ald’s Townsville Run­ning Fes­ti­val will be held this Sun­day at Jezzine Bar­racks.

To do­nate to Tye­sen’s fundrais­ing ef­forts visit sol­dieron. giveeasy. org/ cam­paigns/ tye­sen-parker- memo­rial­marathon/

Pic­ture: WES­LEY MONTS

HEAVY LOAD: Pri­vate Tye­sen Parker of 3RAR.

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