Highway home for around Australia runner

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Hi from Childers! Around Australia runner Andre Jones sets out from Childers this morning on day 60 of his marathon run.
Hi from Childers! Around Australia runner Andre Jones sets out from Childers this morning on day 60 of his marathon run.

Today is day 60 on the road for around Australia runner Andre Jones. For the 57 year old the equation is simple — 59 days and 2473 kilometres completed, an estimated 283 days and 12,763 kilometres ahead.

Andre wheeled into Childers last night behind his cart, aptly named Intrepid 2, and spent the night as a guest of Childers Gateway Motor Inn owners Nicole Skjaerbaek and Geoff Bassett.

Geoff joined Andre for the final few kilometres into Childers and marvels at the man's dedication.

“It’s great to see that some people when they retire are not content to simply kick back,” he said.

“You have a man here who is committed to a task and simply wants to raise a modest $15,000 or a dollar a kilometre from his run to support worthwhile charities.”

Andre runs for charitable causes

“He is running for Beyond Blue, Royal Flying Doctor Service, the Smith Foundation and Go Foundation and others,” said Geoff.

Nicole and Geoff Skjaerbaek were happy to host Andre at the Childers Gateway Motor Inn.
Nicole Skjaerbaek and Geoff Bassett were happy to host Andre at the Childers Gateway Motor Inn.

Nicole said finding a bed for the night and providing a meal was the least they could do.

“This man is running totally unsupported so any bit of help does mean a lot to Andre,” she said.

Andre prepared for his ultra-marathon effort by completing a Darwin to Melbourne run of 3700 kilometres in 2017.

“I think that gave me a solid mental toughness which is part of what you need to run long distances every day.

“I also have my mascot “Bob”, (a stuffed toy emu given to Andre by his wife). He’s a great companion and listens to everything I have to say,” he laughed.

“I do like to run a bit,” Andre admitted. “This journey is equivalent to 358 marathons and on an average day I will burn around 4000 calories so it’s good for the figure.”

On a serious note Andre said he was not being foolish in undertaking the challenge. “I know my body and limitations and I certainly would not push it to inflict damage,” he said.

Intrepid 2, the cart that carries his essentials including clothing, running shoes and first aid kit is actually a converted human powered vehicle (HPV) that was damaged and no longer required by a school.

“It gets along nicely although I have had several tyre changes.”

The wheels of Intrepid 2 are not the only rubber Andre is “burning” during the run.

Andre runs through 15 pairs of shoes

“I currently use three pairs of runners in rotation to ensure an evenness of wear and reduce the risk of damage to my feet.

“There could be a problem if I switch from a fully used pair to a new set of runners. I think I will use around 15 pairs of runners during the around Australia epic.”

Today Andre is on the Childers Highway heading into Bundaberg and enjoying the glorious weather and the 56 kilometres on the road.

Currently he is exceeding that modest fundraising target of a dollar a kilometre with sponsorship past the $12,000 mark.

You can follow Andre’s journey on his Facebook page or donate on his website at https://runaroundaustralia.com/

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