RUN A MILE: The Festival of Sailing's fun run is a great community event.
RUN A MILE: The Festival of Sailing's fun run is a great community event. Andrew Pattinson / Vampp Photogr

Run for fun and a serious cause

TO WALK a mile in someone else's shoes, literally means to try and understand another person's outlook, their life, and their motivations.

And this is exactly the ethos behind this year's Airlie Beach Race Week Fun Run, which will support suicide prevention and help raise awareness of mental health issues through the 'A Mile in their Shoes' charity.

Whitsunday Running Club member and CEO of Parkrun Australia, Tim Oberg, who organised this year's Fun Run, said there was "no doubt” mental health issues were on the rise and, in particular in the Whitsundays, men's mental health issues.

He said he had addressed his own issues of anxiety, and believed it was important people had the confidence to seek help and talk about their feelings, while also creating a strong support network.

"If one person is feeling a bit low, and seeks help because of this, then it has been a worthwhile event,” he said.

Vice-president of the local A Mile in their Shoes charity group, Kevin Fancke, said they wanted to provide a solid support network for friends and family of people who suffered with depression.

"We want to educate people that systems are in place to help people who need help,” he said. "Don't be afraid to utilise the services that are out there.”

A Mile in their Shoes provides funding for training courses and free seminars to help people recognise the symptoms and triggers of mental health issues.

Airlie Beach Race Week event marketing manager Adrian Bram said this was the sailing event's second fun run and the Festival of Sailing would support the cause by donating $1 for each mile the runners or walkers completed.

Mr Bram said the 'mile-long' course, from the sailing club along the foreshore to the Port of Airlie and back again, could be walked, jogged or run.


FOR: A Mile in their Shoes

WHEN: Saturday, August 12, 4pm

START / FINISH: Whitsunday Sailing Club