Runners to take on ultra marathon in soaring heat
THIRTEEN brave Springfield runners will join Matthew Britton in this year's Trail to Triumph, a 250km charity run held in north Queensland.
Mr Britton, a Springfield physiotherapist, who lost his dad to mesothelioma in 2014 started the event five years ago.
His dad, Tony, found out about the asbestos cancer about 15 months before he died, he had come into contact with the deadly building material while he was working in the UK.
Two weeks before he died, Mr Britton told his dad he wanted to do something big for him and started the Trail to Triumph in his name.
The run takes three days to complete in the gruelling north Queensland heat with the runners starting off in Moranbah and finishing up in Mackay via Eungella.
"We decided the first year after dad passed that we would run from Mackay to Moranbah and because dad was really influential in soccer and business in Mackay, we always hold a soccer match between two local clubs at the end of the run," Mr Britton said.
On day one the runners hit the road before sun up and aim to complete 100km, day two sees them running on red dirt roads under the baking hot sun for another 100km leaving only 50km on day three.
"We used to run together in the bush in Moranbah and we would drive to Mackay up to three times a week for soccer which is 200km away.
"It's stinking hot at that time of year, it's 42 degrees with high humidity and the tar on the road melts into your shoes, but that just adds to the battle and we want to keep it like that because we can't just ask people to give us money, we have to earn it and by doing that I feel that we really do.."
Mr Britton who is part of the Springfield Runners Group said 13 members would be heading up north with him.
"It's the best team we've had go up in four years," he said.
Run 4 Life fitness Coach Mark Emr is training the runners.
They are running in the mornings and afternoons and doing a combination of downhill and uphill courses.
Mr Britton is looking to raise $30,000 this year and is nearly half way thanks to fundraising activities and generous donations.
Money will be donated to the Bernie Banton Foundation which assists families affected by mesothelioma and helped during Tony Britton's struggle with the disease.
This year's Trail to Triumph will be held over October 12-14.