What makes someone run 7 marathons in 7 days in 7 states as part of the Bravehearts 777 Marathon 2017?
Some run for the love of it, others run to heal from the sexual assault they experienced as a child, whilst others still, run to prevent what happened to them from happening to other children.
Hailing from across Australia, the common thread amongst this passionate group was the desire to raise awareness of the crime of child sexual assault and make Australia the safest place in the world to raise a child.
Kicking-off this year’s event in Perth, emotions were running high – first time participants were nervous, not knowing what to expect, whilst those that were participating for their second or third time were focused on the children they were running to protect, knowing the pain they were about to put their bodies through over the next seven days.
With a lot of local supporters turning out to cheer on these intrepid children’s champions, the event got off to a great start. For one of our runners, Chris Glacken, this first leg marked his 100th marathon!
The beautiful Glenelg waterfront provided a stunning backdrop for the Adelaide leg of the 777. Love was in the air with a marriage proposal visible on the beach by the starting point. Love was also in the hearts of the 777 Runners who were all starting to feel the effects of the previous day’s run.
Nonetheless, they battled through – some with sheer determination whilst others sought inspiration from coffee and even fish and chips during the run!
Canberra came out in force to support Bravehearts and this year’s 777 with over 20 members of the Australian Federal Police (AFP) running alongside our National Runners beside Lake Burley Griffin.
Local media also turned out to support the event with reports airing across local TV, radio and digital print media.
Melbourne lived up to expectation with the 777 runners experiencing all four seasons in one day! However, strong supporters of this event, the Rapid Relief Team, were on hand to warm everyone up with hot drinks, good food and great company and moral support.
Melbourne also represented the half-way point for the 26 National Runners. The St Kilda waterfront provided a dramatic backdrop for this incredible milestone.
With stunning Mount Wellington looming in the background, the 26 National Runners set off on marathon number five.
With the support of local State Runners including two members of Bravehearts’ Tasmanian Education Team as well as Bravehearts’ mascot Ditto, the 26 National Runners were in fine form as they headed out along the banks of the Derwent River.
Local media were right behind the event with reports airing on WIN TV, Southern Cross News and ABC radio and also in print via The Mercury.
With many of the runners returning to home turf, family and friends were out in droves to cheer on all of the runners during the penultimate leg.
Kingscliff delivered beautiful weather that helped many National Runners who were battling through unimaginable pain, to go above and beyond for the kids they are so passionate about protecting.
Australia’s premier road race, The Gold Coast Airport Marathon provided the final leg of the 777 journey.
Emotions were running high as our National Runners entered into the final stretch of this incredible adventure.
Joining in excess of 26,000 fellow participants, our brave 777 runners pulled out all the stops with the crowd lining the course cheering loudly whenever a 777 runner passed by.
In total, the Bravehearts 777 Marathon 2017 participants raised almost $300,000 to help Bravehearts educate, empower and protect Aussie kids. Through their incredible fundraising efforts, the message of awareness of the crime of child sexual assault continues to increase in its reach, supporting Bravehearts’ Mission to prevent child sexual assault in our society.
“We know that, for the most part, child sexual assault is preventable. We just need adults to step up and prioritise the safety of our most vulnerable members of the community,” says Founder and Executive Chair of Bravehearts, Hetty Johnston AM.
“I am in awe of this year’s participants. They truly are children’s champions.”