Running to keep kids safe

CHALLENGE AHEAD: Billy Tindall will run about 60 kilometres a day from Melbourne to the Sunshine Coast, raising awareness for the safety of children. Photo: Ultra Marathon for Daniel Facebook page.
CHALLENGE AHEAD: Billy Tindall will run about 60 kilometres a day from Melbourne to the Sunshine Coast, raising awareness for the safety of children. Photo: Ultra Marathon for Daniel Facebook page.

Most people would think running almost 2000 kilometres was crazy, but for Billy Tindall it’s about to become a reality.

The 27-year-old is running from Melbourne to the Sunshine Coast, beginning Saturday, to raise funds and awareness for the Daniel Morcombe Foundation. His route will take him through Dubbo where he’ll celebrate his son’s second birthday.

As a parent Mr Tindall said the work the Daniel Morcombe Foundation did to keep children safe was something he was very passionate about. The run is his way of contributing, Mr Tindall said.

The Daniel Morcombe Foundation was established by Bruce and Denis Morcombe in 2005 after their son Daniel was abducted and murdered while waiting to catch a bus. The foundation aims to educate children on how to stay safe, while also supporting young victims of crime.

The idea to run 2000 kilometres came from world-record holder Gary Parsons. Mr Parsons is from Calboolture, the same town as Mr Tindall. Mr Tindall said he followed the world record attempt for the longest continuous run in the world in 1999.

“In our town we have a map that followed [Mr Parson’s] progress. Every time I passed it I was sort of intrigued by it and that planted the seed and now here I am today setting off on my own journey,” Mr Tindall said.

Mr Parsons and his wife Sharon will be among the support crew.

About two weeks into the run Mr Tindall will be taking a pit stop in Dubbo. The family will celebrate Ashton’s second birthday at Taronga Western Plains Zoo.

“I think it’s going to be one of my big driving forces there knowing I can see [my son] and my wife. That’ll get me through the rough moments knowing I get to see them at that time, especially because it’ll be his birthday it’ll make it even more special,” he said.

To finish at Woombye on the Sunshine Coast for the Walk for Daniel on Friday October 22, Mr Tindall will need to run about 50 to 60 kilometres every day. He plans to travel from 4am to 7am every morning and then from 4pm to 7pm at night.

To train Mr Tindall said he has been running 40 kilometres a day, as well as undergoing strength and conditioning training to reduce his risk of injury.

The athlete has also been getting advice from Mr Parsons on what not to do.

The goal for the ultramarathon is not only to increase awareness of the Daniel Morcombe Foundation, and children’s safety, but to raise $100,000. Almost $8000 has already been donated.

Anyone who wishes to join Mr Tindall on his run is welcome to do so. The journey can be followed on Facebook via the Daniel Morcombe Foundation page or Ultra Marathon For Daniel.