A fashion editor, a paratrooper, a model, an electrician, a permaculturalist, a translator, a youth worker and a soil conservationist. All brought together by a common goal – to wake up the world to the beauty of North-West Tasmania.
THEIR MISSION. These 8 members of the not-for-profit organisation Responsible Runners ( responsiblerunners.org ) aim to run 140km across Tasmania’s Tarkine region. The grueling expedition will take 7 days to complete, starting with a three-day run through the rainforest, along the ridge of Mount Berthar and finishing with three days of coastline – with each runner carrying 20kg of equipment.
And all with just six weeks of training.
NEXT YEAR Responsible Runners plan to make this an annual event and will next year invite runners and walkers from across the world to join them, crossing the original route they plotted. Their expedition has already caught the attention of the media, international adventure and running groups, plus global brands.
They have been sponsored by Osprey, Salomon, Patagonia, GoPro, BlackWolf and 2XU who are using their networks to promote the expedition.
THEIR REASON. Despite being one of the world’s most significant tracts of temperate rainforest and the last stronghold of the iconic Tasmanian devil, less than 5 percent of the Tarkine Wilderness is protected as National Parkland. The team aim to raise worldwide awareness of the beauty and eco-touristic value of the region.
To provide the world with a window into the depths of the Tarkine, the expedition will appear in a feature-length documentary, looking at the rainforest’s history and the various challenges it faces.
THE CREW. ... includes Australia’s leading plus-size model Laura Wells, journalist and former editor of Grazia magazine Amy Molloy and Responsible Runners founder Justin Bonsey.
A video diary will be shot whilst on the trip and made available to the media.
TARKINE RUN THE TARKINE
Gardening Australia presenter Costa Georgiadis will also be running a
section of the route
WHY THEY’RE NOT YOUR AVERAGE ADVENTURERS:
Name: Justin Bonsey, 36
Occupation: Responsible Runners founder, multilingual
translator, puts the ‘mental’ in environmental.
His wavelength: “What an opportunity to be putting our
physical and mental abilities to the test in one of the
world’s most beautiful rainforests. We hope this
inspires others to follow in our footsteps. Running is
optional, of course!”
Name: Amy Molloy, 29
Occupation: journalist & former editor of Grazia
Her wavelength: “This time last year I was sitting front
row at a fashion show, wishing my thighs were as skinny
as the supermodels. It’s amazing how your priorities can
shift. Now, here I am purposefully putting on weight so
I can survive the wilderness…and I’m absolutely loving
Name: Tom Stranger, 35
Occupation: youth worker, beard-idol and chin-up master
His wavelength: “I think the simple and slow moving
things in life are golden – especially when you live in
a speeding, pulsing city like Sydney. What are my
favourite things? Native birds in the morning and the
sensations and colours of swimming under water.”
Name: Laura Wells, 29
Occupation: plus-size model, environmental scientist and
positive body image ambassador.
Her wavelength: “It always seems to surprise people that
a plus-size model is also an environmental scientist,
but to me it falls into the same category – positive
awareness, whether that’s the earth or women’s bodies.
When my modeling agent heard I was running 140km she
made me promise not to lose my curves. Not likely!”
Name: Kurt Laboyrie, 29
Occupation: soil conservationist, specializing in
coastal management, surfer and fire-twirler.
His wavelength: “Okay, I admit it – I seriously suffer
from ‘FOMO’ (the fear of missing out). That’s why I’ll
rarely be found sitting still or going to bed early. I’m
always outdoors, whether it’s surfing, diving or
snowboarding, but this will be my biggest challenge
Name: Jesse McNeilly, 28
Occupation: former paratrooper, enlisted in the
Australian army at 16. Elite bodyguard, entrepreneur,
safety and emergency management consultant.
His wavelength: “I’m hoping the mental toughness I
learnt in Afghanistan will help me in the Tarkine
wilderness. I want to show people you don’t need to be a
‘greenie’ living out of a straw hut to live a cleaner
and more sustainable life, and protect the environment.”
Name: Luke Mahon, 28
Occupation: electrician, psychotherapist-in-training,
meditation and QiGong teacher.
His wavelength: “Putting eight people in the wilderness
for seven days, away from the luxury they’re used to, is
the ultimate social experiment. Hopefully, my regular
practice of QiGong and meditation will help me maintain
mental balance in the testing situations we’ll be
Name: Lance Lieber, 31
Occupation: permaculturalist, founder of Transition
Bondi, personal trainer, former South African Sumo
His wavelength: “As I once weighed 142 kilograms (22
stone) myself, I’m only too familiar with ‘social
obesity’, and see it everywhere in society, causing
climate change and mass extinction. What are the skills
that will help me in the rainforest? Well, I give good
hugs and can speak 120 words per minute while running.”
To support the cause visit responsbilerunners.org