THE SOCIAL ADVOCATE
Our weekend runs don’t seem so tough when you look at Sam’s track record. Or, her off-track one. This is the endurance athlete who ran four, 250km desert ultra-marathons in eight months, becoming the first woman and youngest person in the world to do so. She’s run across the Himalayas, in South Africa and through the Simpson Desert. In 2016, she covered 3253km from the west to the east of India in 76 days. But Sam doesn’t lace-up for nothing. She does it to raise awareness and funds for incredible causes. The World Vision ambassador’s run through the Indian heat and humidity raised close to $200,000 for education programs. “Every couple of days we were being deeply connected to why we were out there, because [we visited] communities and programs,” she remembers. “It was the most uplifting thing to do and it just reminded us that running, although it’s hard, is nothing compared with the benefits.” And this new mum’s advice for backing yourself in any challenge? “Know what drives you. For me, [it’s] the element of contribution,” says the motivational speaker. Sam is also writing a book and planning a 2019 endurance event in the outback to support early education programs for Indigenous Australians. “The people you surround yourself with provide you with the support and the backing that allow you to think your idea – or how you choose to spend your time – is valued,” says Sam. “The more you do, the more you’ll realise you are capable of things you didn’t expect you could do.” Wise words to live by.