Sur­vivor finds run­ning his mov­ing med­i­ta­tion

Whitsunday Times - - ARLIE BEACH RUNNING FESTIVAL 2016 -

MANY peo­ple re­fer to run­ning as their med­i­ta­tion but not many can say it has lit­er­ally been a life-chang­ing ex­pe­ri­ence.

But for 46-year-old Can­non­vale man, Dan Berger, it has been just that.

Dan was di­ag­nosed with stage 3 bowel can­cer in early 2014 and had rad­i­cal surgery where his en­tire large in­tes­tine was re­moved, fol­lowed by six months of in­ten­sive chemo­ther­apy.

He started run­ning “with any con­sis­tency” in Jan­uary this year af­ter be­ing in­vited by a fam­ily friend to go along to parkrun, a 5km so­cial run at Abell Point Ma­rina, held on Satur­day morn­ings.

“I’ve grown to love run­ning as it is an al­most cathar­tic ex­pe­ri­ence where I can empty my mind and fo­cus on breath­ing and plac­ing one foot in front of the other,” Dan said. “It’s my med­i­ta­tion. “Thank­fully, I re­main can­cer-free today.

“Run­ning this year has been part of my re­cov­ery in that it has helped me re­gain self-con­fi­dence and man­age my men­tal health and phys­i­cal fit­ness.

“In fact I’ve lost 12kg since the start of the year.”

Dan, who is a diesel fit­ter in the mines, en­tered the 2013 Air­lie Beach Run­ning Fes­ti­val in the 5km event and ran a time of about 36 min­utes.

“This year I’ve de­cided to run the 10km, which will be chal­leng­ing,” he said.

“As part of my train­ing, I have been run­ning parkrun ev­ery sec­ond Satur­day morn­ing and at least two more 5km runs weekly.

“In the past month, I’ve re­placed one 5km run with a 10 km run.

“I’m re­ally look­ing for­ward to this week­end’s fes­ti­val and achiev­ing a goal I’ve set for my­self. I can’t thank my parkrun fam­ily enough for their sup­port and en­cour­age­ment along the way. It’s cer­tainly been a lifechang­ing jour­ney.”

On­line regis­tra­tions for this year’s Air­lie Beach Run­ning Fes­ti­val this Sun­day, July 17, close on Satur­day, July 16 at mid­night.

Events in­clude a half-marathon, in­clud­ing a three­p­er­son re­lay event, 10km and 5km runs in­clud­ing a team chal­lenge, plus a 2km kids run on Satur­day July 16, at 3pm.

IN­SPI­RA­TION: Can­cer sur­vivor Dan Berger will com­pete in this year’s Air­lie Beach Run­ning Fes­ti­val and has been train­ing hard in prepa­ra­tion. Photo con­trib­uted

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