Alpine Observer

Coast to country run raises $21K for charity

- By KELLIE SHEPPARD

MURRAY Pearce shouldn’t be able to walk, let alone run 375km from the coastal town of Barwon Heads to his home town of Myrtleford.

Seriously injured in a diving accident when he was 16, the now 29 year old is so grateful for the care he received to recover fully from a broken neck, that he took on the task of running the equivalent of nine marathons in nine days to raise money for both Spinal Injuries Australia and Beyond Blue.

“I speak to other people who have had neck or spinal injuries that were never able to walk again and I know that I am extremely lucky,” Mr Pearce said.

“I wanted to thank the people who helped me and felt that this was a fitting way to do that.”

With an initial goal of raising $10,000 over the course of a 10 day running schedule, Mr Pearce smashed both targets by raising a total of $21,000 and shaving a full day off the run time.

“The announceme­nt was made that we were heading back into lockdown so I needed to finish a day earlier than planned,” he said.

After sleeping rough in a hammock, Mr Pearce would get up each morning, stretch, tape his ankles for support, eat a banana and hit the road.

Once started, he did not stop running, even to eat, until his target number of kilometres had been reached for the day.

“I was running an average of

about 45 kilometers a day,” Mr Pearce said.

“When I finished, I would stretch again, drink hydrolytes and eat something filling before massaging my legs and getting as much sleep as I could.”

Pleased to have been able to give back to two charities that have a deep personal meaning

for him, Mr Pearce is now excited to be beginning a new chapter of his life.

“I have just accepted my first teaching position in the Northern Territory where I will be working with mostly Indigenous students,” he said.

“I’m looking forward to starting that in a few weeks’ time.”

 ??  ?? THE LONG WAY HOME: Murray Pearce nearing the end of a 375km run that raised more than $21,000 for spinal cord injury after recovery from a broken neck.
THE LONG WAY HOME: Murray Pearce nearing the end of a 375km run that raised more than $21,000 for spinal cord injury after recovery from a broken neck.

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