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From Canberra To Bondi By Foot In 24 Hours

By Katie Noonan on October 1, 2012 in News

Last year’s Civic2Surf runners…

If you think five university students running the 320km distance from Canberra to Bondi in six days would be hard to top, think again. The team behind last year’s successful marathon event, the Civic2Surf, have returned in 2012 with a bigger and better event. Sixty runners have signed up to tackle the distance as a relay team, this time in just 24 hours. The event takes place this week on October 5 and 6.

In November 2011, the Civic2Surf team of Evan England, Jack and Harry Bennetto, Bronti Ness and Calder Hamill raised $11,000 for Batyr and the John XXIII College International Aid Project. This year, all proceeds will be donated to the non-profit organisation Batyr, which uses peer success stories to engage, educate and empower young people while advocating the many support services available to them.

Batyr founder and Bondi resident, Sebastian Robertson, is passionate about helping young people confront and accept different social issues. This passion is due to his personal experiences dealing with depression while studying at university.

Seb founded Batyr at the age of 25 after overcoming his battle, believing that “unless I spoke out about my ‘success story’, I was only adding to the stigma that stopped me seeking help when I needed it”.

Funds raised by the Civic2Surf will help Batyr implement speaker-training programs, which organisers Jack Bennetto and Evan England believe are crucial to addressing these issues.

“It is often hard to approach the issue of mental health, but Seb’s presentation facilitated discussion between our mates,” Evan said.

“Hearing Seb share his experience inspired us to create the event. We want to open up the conversation about these issues for youths everywhere, so that no one feels they have to suffer alone.”

Jack emphasised how uplifting it was to see the larger than expected crowd cheering the runners in at Bondi last year, yet the biggest surprise was how many people were eager to get involved this year. There are now 60 runners involved, half of whom hail from Sydney.

No doubt the biggest obstacle in last year’s event was the endurance, but this year the runners are also challenged by time pressures and working as a team. Coordinating 60 runners into a relay sounds like a logistical nightmare but the organising team have been encouraged by the response from their peers.

“We gave ourselves a week to sign the runners up, but had 60 participants within 24 hours and the response on social media has also been extraordinary,” Jack said.

“We have received offers of support from all over Australia. It reaffirms that what we are doing is close to the hearts of all young people”.

The Civic2Surf team will run into Bondi at approximately 5pm on October 6 and will be joined by the event’s ambassador, ultra-marathon runner Pat Farmer. Get along to the endpoint at the Bondi Pavilion to show your support for the Civic2Surf team and Batyr.

Donations can be made to Civic2Surf at www.everydayhero.com.au/civic2surf. For further information about Batyr, visit www.batyr.com.au. You can also check out the event blog at www.civic2surf.blogspot.com.au.

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