20.2 C
Byron Shire
July 27, 2021

Mark running 1,000 km for mental health, via Ballina

Latest News

With avocados, farmer fresh is best

There are many different avocado varieties, but walk around the supermarket and you might get the impression there is...

Other News

John ‘Strop’ Cornell dies

John Cornell, a character credited with initiating major change in Byron Bay after his purchase of the Beach Hotel, has died at his home in Byron Bay, aged 80, surrounded by his wife Delvene Delaney and family.

Local Labor

Asren Pugh, Labor candidate for Mayor Labor has a very long and proud history as part of the Byron Shire community...

Our water future – Rous County Council

Hugh Nicholson, The Channon A spokesperson for Our Future Northern Rivers (OFNR), explains clearly why the OFNR position on water...

Jeff off

Stephen Totterman, Ballina Local Government elections are coming and Cr Jeff Johnson is on the campaign trail, telling us that...

Snakes monitor radioactive contamination

Ten years on from the 2011 Fukushima disaster in Japan – the most severe nuclear accident since Chernobyl – researchers are using Japanese rat snakes to measure radioactivity in the Fukushima Exclusion Zone.

Green is the colour of my discontent

Tom Tabart, Co-founder, Byron Greens The Greens team for the Council election has a problem with the inclusion of Sarah Ndiaye,...

Vicki and Mark Avery with Percy the Prawn, Alfie and Lily Avery in Ballina. Photo David Lowe.

Ballina’s Percy the Prawn joined Mark Avery for 100 metres of his epic run down the east coast of Australia yesterday.

They were joined by Mr Avery’s wife Vicki and their two kids, who are also his support crew, as he runs twenty marathons in twenty days, all the way from Tweed Heads to their home town of Sydney, to raise funds for Gotcha4Life and generate discussions about building mental fitness.

As Mark Avery caught his breath, Echonetdaily asked him how he was feeling after his third marathon in three days.

‘I feel really good,’ he said. ‘I had some company today, and it was so much easier than yesterday, on the back roads from Pottsville to Byron. Beautiful countryside but I had to be really careful of the traffic.’

Mark Avery runs into Ballina. Photo David Lowe.

But why running? And why so far?

‘About five years ago, a good friend and neighbour of ours unfortunately passed from cancer,’ said Mr Avery.

‘I think it hit us all pretty hard.

‘He went from being healthy to three months later pretty much passing away, so I think being a typical bloke, you try and keep a stiff upper lip, I didn’t really say much and I tried to be what I thought was strong, and it sort of creeps up on you.

‘All of a sudden I went from being anxious, to becoming depressed, then I was having panic attacks at work, something I’ve never experienced before, and I found myself in a bit of a hole and didn’t know what to do,’ he remembered.

Vicki and Mark Avery with one of their souvenirs from Ballina. Photo David Lowe.

‘So I went to the doctor, had a chat, and it all came out.

‘I started to feel a little bit better, but nowhere near where I was. So I just started running in the morning, entered my first marathon, and just loved the training, swapped a load of old habits like drinking too much with good habits, like getting up early and eating well.

‘And then on one of the training runs one morning I was feeling really really bad, and just thought, I wonder if I could run from Brisbane to Sydney?

‘I didn’t tell Vicki for a year or two. But when I did she was like, midlife crisis!’

‘I didn’t believe you!’ said Vicki.

Running in the family?

Their daughter Lily says she’s proud of what her dad’s doing. Son Alfie said, ‘It’s pretty cool huh!’

Lily says she doesn’t like running as much as her dad because ‘it hurts my legs.’ Alfie said, ‘It’s very tiring.’

Percy the Prawn presented the Avery family with some special gifts in honour of their visit. Photo David Lowe.

Echonetdaily asked Ballina’s ambassador Percy the Prawn if he’d had to run anywhere before. ‘Only from the prawn trawlers!’ he said.

Mark Avery was planning to run from Brisbane earlier this year, but was delayed by COVID.

He’s never attempted to run 1,000 km before, but has completed 21 half marathons in 21 days early this year. His current ultra-marathon is twice that distance.

He says his main goal is to ‘encourage people to speak up and take action, to be mentally healthy.’ As part of this process, he also wants to help get people moving.

#keeptheconversationrunning

With one in eight Australians experiencing anxiety, one in five experiencing depression, and the leading cause of death for people aged 15-44 now suicide, Gotcha4Life is going to use funds raised to facilitate to workshops to teach mental health survival skills. Learn more here.

High fives as Mark Avery runs into Ballina. Photo David Lowe.

Vicki Avery said, ‘Anyone can join in the challenge and try to do as many kilometres a day as Mark’s doing, or they could just make a donation, which would be amazing.’

The Run4MentalFitness has already raised almost $13,000, with 242 participants and rising.

People can find out more about the challenge and get involved at https://www.run4mentalfitness.com/.

Help is at hand

If this story has raised issues for you, or if you or someone you care about needs urgent support, please contact:

  • Lifeline 13 11 44
  • Suicide Call Back Service 1300 659 467
  • MensLine Australia 1300 78 99 78
  • Beyond Blue 1300 22 46 36

Support The Echo

Keeping the community together and the community voice loud and clear is what The Echo is about. More than ever we need your help to keep this voice alive and thriving in the community.

Like all businesses we are struggling to keep food on the table of all our local and hard working journalists, artists, sales, delivery and drudges who keep the news coming out to you both in the newspaper and online. If you can spare a few dollars a week – or maybe more – we would appreciate all the support you are able to give to keep the voice of independent, local journalism alive.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Ink Gin still a winner

S Haslam Has it already been six years since I first saw a demonstration of the curious colour-changing properties of the innovative Ink Gin at...

Magnificent sporting prowess and flag pride after 2021 NAIDOC

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people also shone in the sporting arena during NAIDOC 2021. 

Independent councillor calls for online voting

A manageable and easy-to-navigate system was necessary, Cr Allsop said, one that allowed 'equal presence for all candidates'.

Byron Farmers Markets temporarily moved to make way for COVID clinic

The Byron Farmers Market is to be held opposite Elements resort on Bayshore Drive this week, while health authorities use the Cavanbah Centre for a drive-through COVID testing service.