Lismore is set to welcome home Dave Alley, the man who now holds the world record for the fastest person to run around Australia, who will reach the finish line of his epic journey this Sunday, 11 October.
Lismore City Council will host a community event to welcome back Dave on Sunday (October 11) at Oakes Oval from 12-3pm.
A special guard of honour around Oakes Oval will be provided for Dave as he arrives back in Lismore.
The celebration will include plenty of activities for all ages, from a jumping castle and face painting to a coffee van and sausage sizzle.
All proceeds from the day will go to the White Cloud Foundation supports people and their families who are living with depression.
Dave started his attempt on 19 April in Lismore and on 6 October achieved his ultimate goal, breaking the world record just north of Uralla. He reached the key distance of 13,383km in 169 days, 15 hours and 31 minutes. Pat Farmer held the previous best time for this distance, completing it in 174 days in 1999.
Lismore City Council Tourism and Events Manager Mitch Lowe said he was thrilled that Dave had set a new world record, and that it was another feather in Lismore’s cap.
‘His goal was always to break the world record and we are so pumped he’s done it!’ Mitch said.
‘To put your body and mind through the physical and emotional toll of running around the entire country in under six months is something most people couldn’t even imagine. But Dave has a fearsome spirit and determination.
‘We are so thrilled to welcome him back to Lismore to finish his amazing journey and we encourage the whole community to come and celebrate this new world record, which belongs to Dave and the city of Lismore!’
A serving police officer with 14 years of service in both NSW and Queensland, Dave decided to embark on Race Around Australia 2 to raise funds for the White Cloud Foundation.
It’s not the first time he has undertaken an amazing feat of physical endurance for charity – the original Race Around Australia was held in 2011, when he cycled around the country in just under 38 days to raise money for the Royal Flying Doctor Service. Dave will become the first person to have both run and cycled around Australia.
Dave, 39, dreamed up the idea for Race Around Australia with his mate Dave Lees, who is the event manager and sticks with Dave every step of the way.
‘Dave and I are best mates and the discussion began because we wanted to achieve something big before we turned 40,’ Dave explained.
‘I had twins born three months premature and Dave, a school principal, had worked in a lot of remote communities, so we both felt drawn to the Royal Flying Doctor Service at the time and thought it was a good thing we could do for them while pushing and challenging ourselves.
‘This time around we sat down with the board of the White Cloud Foundation and we had a real connection. I was startled to discover that over a million Australians are diagnosed with depression and anxiety every year… and that’s just the ones we know about.’
For more information, visit www.racearoundaus.com.au.