NO distance is too great to raise money and awareness for depression and anxiety for 18-year-old Alex Cooke, who is making his way by foot from Melbourne to Sydney to raise money for beyondblue.
He passed through Quaama and then Narooma on Thursday last week having endured the heat and lack of roadside facilities, even water taps, on the stretch up from Bega.
With no support at all and only a small backpack, his strategy was to make it to a motel each night and while in Narooma he stayed at the Amooran motel.
Alex set off on the hefty 1060km journey from Melbourne’s Federation Square on New Year’s Day.
Calling it a “hyper-marathon”, he was averaging 42km a day to be on the final stretch aiming to finish at the Sydney Opera House on Australia Day on Sunday.
Alex said he has seen a number of his friends affected by depression and anxiety, either because they have experienced these conditions personally or one of their family members has, and he wanted to help beyondblue continue supporting people in this position.
“It’s been heartbreaking to see some of the best people I know struggle with depression,” Alex said.
“I feel very strongly about the work of beyondblue in helping people seek treatment and take back control of their lives.”
Alex trained since October, spending many hours running the foreshore near his home in Port Melbourne, but you could tell by Narooma the heat and constant roadside pounding had taken its toll with Alex asking to sit in the shade while being interviewed.
Alex hopes his expedition will help him raise $15,000 for beyondblue.
“It’s been amazing how quickly people have jumped in to support me and beyondblue, and it would be great to reach the target,” he said.
beyondblue CEO Kate Carnell AO said she was thankful to Alex for going to such lengths to support the important work of the organisation.
“It’s inspiring to see a young man willing to pound the pavement for a month to improve the lives of people experiencing depression and anxiety,” she said.
For more information or to donate to beyondblue, visit give.everydayhero.com/au/alex-cooke-australia-day-melbourne-to-sydney-hypermarathon-2014.