Bachelor of Education student Marc Simpkins will embark on a cross-continent run of almost 4000km in November to raise money for children’s charities.
Simpkins, a third-year student in RMIT’s Bachelor of Education (Primary), will ‘chase the sun’ from Wollongong to Perth over three months, raising money for the Australian Literacy and Numeracy Foundation and The Alannah & Madeline Foundation in the process.
With no support crew, Simpkins will be pushing all of his supplies – including camping gear, food and water – in a custom 95kg buggy.
Simpkins will run more than a marathon per day to reach the 3910km total in fewer than 90 days, camping on the roadside and restocking supplies at rural towns along the way. But he is quick to point out that he has prepared for the possibility that things won’t go to plan.
“I’ll be aiming to do it in less than three months, but anything could happen,” Simpkins admits.
“Food could be an issue, I need to do all I can to avoid injury, and of course there is the whole kangaroo/snake/spider issue, but I’m choosing to ignore that particular scenario. Ignorance is bliss.”
A seasoned long-distance runner, Simpkins has used his pavement pounding to benefit children’s charities in the past.
“Over the last 10 years I have run more marathons than I can count,” he says.
“At one point I was running three or four marathons a week in preparation for a four-day, 442km run. Then I found out about ultra-marathons and started entering 50 and 100km races.
“Eventually I ran 220km in 36 hours to raise funds and awareness for children with cerebral palsy.”
Inspired by his experience as an education student at RMIT, Marc is now raising money for literacy and numeracy and The Alannah & Madeline Foundation, which works to keep children safe from violence and bullying.
“I’m three years into a teaching degree, and in that time I’ve seen the impact of giving children the best opportunity to reach their potential in life,” he says.
“Literacy and numeracy skills are fundamental to a person’s mental development. How we communicate influences our education and helps us decipher the world around us. The better literacy and numeracy skills a child has, the more options they have in life.
“I’m glad to align myself with these two foundations, raising funds that will help them continue to provide support to children around the country.”
To donate to Marc Simpkin’s Chasing the Sun run, and to keep up with his progress, head to www.chasingthesun.run. Simpkins will be posting regular blogs and videos before and during his journey.
Story: Bradley Dixon