This August Ultrarunner and Golfer Andy Bowen will embark on a record breaking attempt at playing the World’s Longest Golf Course, the Nullarbor Links, on foot. He plans to play the course in 16 days, covering a total distance of over 1400kms, running more than 85kms every day without a day off.
HOW CAN YOUR SCHOOL TAKE PART?
The team would love for your school to take advantage of this event as a form of resource material which can augment your everyday classes to educate and inspire your students about this incredible part of Australia, through following their progress daily. To bring it to the attention of the pupils and their families it is requested that each school holds a gold coin collection for the event charities. All donations, however they are generated, are very much appreciated and do make a big difference to the lives of many families.
How is it going to be done?
The 39 year old father of 2 will be running with a support crew of four; 2 to look after him and 2 who will be filming his progress. In addition the Sunshine Coast University will be monitoring his physiology who has relished the opportunity to study how his body copes with the stresses of the event, as there is hardly any research at distances beyond a marathon, and less for multiday running.
Andy and his team will be sharing the experience through a daily video diary here on the website, which is intended to educate, inspire and entertain. They will be covering a wide variety of topics stimulated by the culture, geography, people, environment, the physical and mental challenges, the logistics of completing such an event, and the unique situations they will experience. Their goal is to switch a light on in the mind of those who follow their progress, enlightening them as to the unique story that the Nullarbor Plain holds, a vast expanse of land which epitomises the scale of this great country and reminds us of the harsh realities faced by those early pioneers.
Accompanying the video diary will be a wealth of statistical data gathered along the way, including distances, times, physical performance, nutritional consumption, calories burnt, and heart rate data to name a few.
You will be able to track their progress in real time through a live GPS tracking map.
There are a number of technical challenges the team will face given the remote nature of the region through which they are passing, but they still hope to be able to answer your questions each day as they make their way across the plain.
Over and above the obvious there will be a number of challenges to face along the way, such as safety from the high speed traffic and road trains, nutritional issues because of the scarcity of food supplies, to getting to each golf hole in daylight (this has been overcome by using golf balls, which flash on impact, and continue to flash for a further 5 minutes!).
Andy says “It’s certainly going to be a great experience, and we must remember the goal of the event is to raise the much needed funds for the charities.” He goes on to say that “While you do go through a fair bit of pain running ultra distances, I know that my pain is only temporary, which isn’t the case for someone who has suffered the loss of a child, or who lives with Autism, and that’s what keeps me going”.
The aim of this challenge is to raise over $50,000 for charities that Andy has a close affiliation with; Autism Spectrum Australia (ASPECT) the country’s largest not-for-profit autism specific service provider, who’s vision it is to overcome the isolation of autism, and the Splash of Red Foundation, a not-for-profit organisation dedicated to raising awareness and much needed funds for Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) and Sudden Unexpected Death in Childhood (SUDC) support and research programs in Australia.