Army Supports 1000 Miles to Light Fundraising Ultramarathon
The Australian Army recently supported 1000 Miles to Light – a 1000 mile fundraising ultramarathon to raise awareness of youth mental health service ReachOut.
The event was held at the home of Army’s School of Infantry, Singleton Military Area, between 14-24 August.
Eight runners from Australia and the United States covered 100 miles per day over 10 days in the challenging relay-footrace around the military base.
Joining Army and the athletes in their fundraising efforts, 2,705 Australians signed-up to the event via the Running Heroes app, recording a total of 111,384kms.
Chief of Army Lieutenant General Rick Burr, said it is important to support activities that connect with the community and promote mental health and wellbeing during difficult times.
“Defence is proud to have partnered with 1000 Miles to Light to reinforce the importance of resilience, health and mental wellbeing, not just in Army but in the broader community,” Lieutenant General Rick Burr said.
The race, which was originally planned to occur across regional NSW, with Army personnel and athletes visiting country towns along the route, was adapted to meet the rapidly changing COVID-19 situation.
Army’s 17th Sustainment Brigade provided logistical, health and maintenance support to the event through accommodation and catering.
Event organiser and seasoned ultramarathon runner Pat Farmer AM, said that 1000 Miles to Light have been impressed by Army’s agile planning and sustainment capability.
“Army has been behind us every step of the way, and their support not just to the charity, but to the overall execution of the event has been second to none,” Mr Farmer said.
“The flexibility in their planning – particularly in this ever changing environment – has been instrumental in ensuring this event was able to take off.”
“Although the race was confined to the base, we still managed to remotely engage with the communities we had planned to visit on the original route to reconnect with and inspire those still facing the challenges of the pandemic.”
Mr Farmer said that soldiers from the School of Infantry ran alongside the Australian and US teams providing encouragement for parts of the race.
“The core values of army which are, Service, Courage, Respect, Integrity and Excellence, were exemplified by both athletes and Army coming together for the common cause of youth mental health,” Mr Farmer said.
The US and Australian athletes, and support staff completed a 14-day quarantine period prior to the event to ensure the health and safety of all involved.
The event was successful in raising over $63,000 towards the 1000 Miles to Light ReachOut fundraiser, which remains open to donations at: https://about.au.reachout.com/1000milestothelight