As thousands of participants cross the finish line in the Gold Coast Airport Marathon on Sunday, spare a thought for the 10 brave-hearted individuals who will not only cross the line – but conquer their 7th marathon this week.
These inspirational die-hards are participants in the mighty Bravehearts 777 – 7 marathons in 7 states in 7 days – with the Gold Coast set to host the final leg of the charity run.
After battling sub-zero temperatures this week in Hobart and an icy –6 degrees in Canberra on Friday, the runners (pictured with competitors from the Canberra leg) are looking forward to some warmer winter rays of sunshine.
Despite battling the elements in the far southern states, the Aussie spirit shone brightly today (Friday July 3) for the fifth leg in the nation’s capital.
Having already completed marathons in Perth, Adelaide, Melbourne and Hobart, the runners fought off fatigue as they tackled the circuit around Nara Piece Park before finishing the 42-kilometre feat at Kings Avenue Bridge.
In a show of strength, stamina and determination, the competitors have bared all in the past five days after completing marathons in Perth, Adelaide, Melbourne, Hobart, Canberra with just Kingscliff (Saturday) and the Gold Coast on Sunday to go.
They are putting their bodies on the line and running through blood, sweat and tears to raise funds and awareness for Bravehearts to educate and protect Aussie kids from child sexual assault.
The final leg will be nothing short of amazing as the Bravehearts 777 legends get to see all their hard work and dedication pay off.
Ironman legend and Bravehearts 777 mentor Guy Andrews will be trackside to help competitors through the gruelling challenge.
“This courageous group of people are so inspirational and are physically and emotionally exhausted after putting their hearts and souls into running marathons every day this week,” says Andrews.
“Emotions are running high and the injury toll is growing, but they’re spirits are high and they can see the finish line in sight on the Gold Coast.
“They’re looking forward to some warmer conditions and also to run with thousands of other people in what will be a fitting finish to an incredible journey of endurance.”
Bravehearts Founder and CEO Hetty Johnston says the Bravehearts 777 has brought a bunch of ‘special people’ together who are passionate about making a real difference in the community.
"Child protection is everybody's business and among the amazing people running the 777 is an outback Queensland mayor, a police officer, a teacher, and Gold Coaster Ian Harvey – the son of local fundraising supremo Claude ‘the mowerman’ Harvey she says.
"This incredible challenge is generating funds to help those vulnerable children who are enduring their own personal marathons. We want to reach as many kids as we can with our personal safety program 'Ditto's Keep Safe Adventure' and provide specialist counselling services for survivors."
More than 50 individual marathon competitors will join the 777 big guns across each event.
Competitors in the Bravehearts 777 (pictured below) include: Simon Cheel (VIC); Ian Harvey (QLD); Danielle McLaren (VIC); Dave McNab (QLD); Linda McNab (QLD); Ian Richards (NSW); Ben Robinson (VIC); Tammy Robinson (VIC); Russell Odgers (NSW) and Belinda Murphy (QLD).