Bibbulmun Track walk: marathon a day to keep cancer at bay

Sarah Wiese and Jemma Read on the Bibbulmun Track. Picture: David Baylis   d456214
Sarah Wiese and Jemma Read on the Bibbulmun Track. Picture: David Baylis d456214

TWO women have completed a 26-day run on the Bibbulmun Track from Albany to Kalamunda to raise money for breast cancer research.

Former Mt Helena resident Sarah Wiese and her 18-year-old niece Jemma Read, of York, finished the 1008km track last Wednesday in a fundraiser called Bibbulmun for Breasts.

The women have already raised almost $11,000 for the Australian Cancer Research Foundation.

Ms Wiese, who is a marathon runner, had the idea to run the track two years ago.

“We both love running and came up with the idea it would be more fun and feasible to find the time to go end to end if we ran it,” she said.

“We knew it would be quite an undertaking not only for us but also our families and friends to support us and cope without us while we ran.

“Breast cancer was almost without discussion the cause we chose as we have some very close family and friends struggling with breast cancer and it is so much a young women’s disease affecting many women in their prime and in the middle of raising children and building careers.”

The women ran for 25 days and had one rest day in the middle, and ran close to a marathon a day.

Ms Wiese said the terrain was tougher than they anticipated.

“I felt really great during the run; it was a fairly simple routine of good food, plenty of exercise and early nights, a luxury not always easy to find in our normally busy lives,” she said.

“We also had a policy not to run up any of the steeper hills and that made a big difference to avoiding leg fatigue and making sure we were able to do it all again the next day.”

Australian Cancer Research Foundation chief executive Ian Brown said the pair did an amazing job to complete the track.

“We are amazed by the effort that Jemma and Sarah put towards completing this challenge. The money they raised will help provide the best researchers in the country with the tools they need to do lifesaving cancer research,” he said.

Ms Wiese said the experience was one they would both not forget.

“I have come away really appreciating what a fantastic state we live in. For 1000km we travelled through one beautiful and diverse national park after another, all linked together by an incredible, well maintained Bibbulmun Track.”

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