Raw courage on the run for veterans

BRIANNA PIAZZA discovers why our two road warriors are always hitting the track.

ALAN Murray and Janette Murray-Wakelin raised tens of thousands of dollars for charity when they ran the length of New Zealand in 50 days back in 2000. Now the Warrandyte couple is planning to up the ante with a year-long run around Australia.

Both in their 60s, Alan and Janette will kick off RunRaw 2013 from Warrandyte on January 1 next year. In their quest to conquer 15,500km the couple will run anti-clockwise around Australia before crossing the finish line in Warrandyte during December.

They will be raising funds for the Australian Paralympic Committee, the Gawler Foundation, Animals Australia and Kids Under Cover.

For the past decade the couple have only eaten raw fruit and vegetables, a diet that will continue as they make their way around the country.\" data-mce-src=

Through RunRaw 2013 Alan and Janette aim to inspire people to make more conscious lifestyle choices, promote kindness and compassion and raise environmental awareness for a sustainable future.

“It is our hope that by running around Australia we will inspire and motivate others by example and through the presentations we will give along the way. We hope people will be inspired to make more conscious choices in their lives,” Janette says.

In 2000, the pair raised awareness as well as money for New Zealand athletes with disabilities who aspired to compete in the Sydney 2000 Paralympic Games.

Alan says the people who motivate him are the same people he is trying to raise money for.

“One day I was running in New Zealand and the Paralympic Committee had organised some athletes to run with us. I was thinking ‘I’ve got a sore knee today’ and I looked down beside me and there was a guy who had no knees and I realised I had nothing to complain about. Just getting up in the morning and getting functional is a huge job for those guys. So they were inspiring us, even though we were inspiring other people.”

The couple will mostly follow Highway One, running a full marathon (42km) every day for a year with no rest days.

“Most people only can stock up enough sugar to run a half marathon, but after you reach 30km you start using fat because there are no carbohydrates left for fuel. So that’s when it becomes a real challenge. But if you train properly, then it’s much easier,” Alan says.

Alan and Janette have been planning RunRaw 2013 for almost two years and have been training for the past three years with no days off. Janette is in France writing a book, but is still running every day in preparation for the big trip.

“Our training includes at least an hour of strength and muscular exercises, as well as practicing yoga for flexibility and meditation for clarity of mind. Of course, we also run every day.” Janette says. “Living in Warrandyte is great for running because there is plenty of hill training.”

The pair is running 15km every day except Sunday when they take on as much as 50km. And while they have both travelled the world, they say running around Australia will be a great way to explore their own country.

Sponsors and volunteers to help with publicity and driving vehicles would be appreciated by Alan and Janette. Donations will be accepted through their website from June this year. To get involved or find out more information visit http://www.runningrawaroundaustralia.com.

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Brianna Piazza

Journalist and travel writer.


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