Marathon finish sparks new challenges

Eight marathons. Eight states and territories. Five months.

That has been the journey for IMP supporter, Simon Lewis, who completed his marathon challenge around Australia when he crossed the line of the Blackmores Sydney Running Festival Marathon on Sunday 21 September.

He is now among a rare group of people who have completed a marathon in every state and territory around the country which he acknowledges he has been very fortunate to experience.

“I was lucky to be able to have my mother waiting for me at the finish line to present me with the Sydney Running Festival medal. I felt the love and support of my family first before I felt and realised the emotions of how grateful I am to be able to run and see all of Australia, let alone finish this challenge,” he said.

Simon’s plight started in April when he ran the Canberra Marathon, before heading to Uluru for the Outback Marathon in July.

It was that experience and connection to the Indigenous culture that inspired Simon to support the IMP.

“I just really wanted to showcase the spirit and determination of the IMP runners who really get the chance to dream big but go bigger than they had thought.”

Despite his incredible achievement, he is adamant the adventure won’t stop there.

“The body is very tired, the legs are sore but the mind is full of adventure and willingness to do bigger and crazier things knowing that my base level of pain and determination has increased.

“I am booked into doing the Ironman Melbourne next year but before then, I will do a 21km and may give the Melbourne Marathon a start to support the other IMP runners,” he said. Simon has demonstrated that anything is possible if you set a goal, work hard, and stay focussed.  He is committed to encouraging other people to follow their dreams and achieve the seemingly unachievable.

“It feels wonderful to achieve a dream that I really had no idea I could even finish, let alone push myself that hard to achieve it.  I can’t stop smiling and thinking ‘wow, I really did that’ and I can’t wait to see others do it too,” he said.

To understand the enormity of what Simon accomplished, here are some interesting statistics:

  • 39hrs 50mins of running 347kms across eight marathons in six states and two territories

  • 162 days from start to finish (five months) to complete

  • 16hrs 36mins of travelling a distance of 10,318kms

  • One body just hanging in there

Melbourne man, Simon Lewis, is making a marathon effort to escape the city’s winter.

The St Kilda Lifeguard, Surf Lifesaver and Level 1 Triathlon Coach, is on a mission to complete a marathon in every state and territory across Australia in a bid to forget winter, see more of the country and raise money for IMP.

He has already covered 221km – finishing 50km in the Canberra Marathon (Australian running festival), 45km Great Ocean Rd Marathon (VIC), 42km Outback Marathon (NT), 42km Brisbane Marathon (QLD) and the 42km Adelaide Marathon in SA.

Now he ‘only’ has 126km to go to achieve his goal, including the 42km Perth City2Surf Marathon on 31 August, 42km Ross Marathon in Tasmania on 7 September, before finishing off with the Sydney Marathon on 21 September.

That’s one way to beat the cold!

“I had never really seen all of Australia so I thought running a marathon in every state was a great way to explore our country and escape that very cold Melbourne winter.

“As I started my plan later in the year it meant I had to run back to back weekends of marathons and the goal changed to be more than just about me.

“It became about showing others that anyone can do this and achieve a fitness goal by determination,” he said.

Simon acknowledged the commitment of Indigenous Australians to make a difference in their communities.

“It was the perfect connection between my relatable battles that led me to run marathons to escape, and outcomes you see these inspiring Indigenous runners making in their communities without the resources of the world but the determination for success.”

If you would like to show your support for Simon’s gruelling challenge, you can make a donation here