Running for a cause

Marathon runner Jamie Milne with St Mary’s Primary year six students.

Ultramarathon runner Jamie Milne is running farther than many of us are willing to drive.

He’s in the middle of an 18-day journey from Melbourne to the Sunshine Coast, travelling only on his own two feet.

However, he still found time for a breather at Batlow’s St Mary’s Primary on Tuesday to speak to the class and pass on a dose of inspiration.

St Mary’s year 2-6 students did star jumps, snapped photos of Mr Milne’s team, and listened to the fitness fanatic explain why on Earth he would want to cover 2100 kilometres at a jog.

He asked the kids what they wanted to be when they grew up – with answers ranging from ‘zoologist’ to ‘wizard’ – before explaining the source of his own drive.

“Running – that’s what I wanted to do when I grew older,” he said. “I always loved running. I was never that good at it – I never won any races or anything – but I wanted to use running to help people. My biggest inspiration is my grandfather, who ran his last marathon at 74 years of age.”

He handed out bookmarks to the class, and instructed the students to write down a goal and look at it every day.

“That’s why we go around to different schools, to encourage you guys to set goals and achieve your dreams,” he said.

Mr Milne is fundraising for Alzheimer’s Australia, in honour of his late grandmother who suffered from the incurable illness.

“The yearly event reminds me of this sweet and special person that was to me my own angel sent down to earth to show me that in a world full of complexity, there is much peace in simplicity. One of my fondest childhood memories was sharing her foot stool watching Coronation St under a tartan blanket enjoying jam, tea, and toast,” he said to Alzheimer’s Australia.

“She left this world lonely, slowly and scared, and at the time I didn’t know what to do. This disease of forgetfulness stole the one person in my life I never wanted to lose. She was a mother to me, a friend, and a nurturer.”

St Mary’s Primary will donate half of their proceeds from their talent show and mufti day to Mr Milne’s organisation, Many Miles For Mary.

Mr Milne is also a Guinness World Record holder, having completed 4267 burpees – a fitness move going from a stand to a squat to a plank and back up again – continuously in 22 and a half hours in 2014.

He has run over 50 ultramarathons – defined as a marathon that is longer than 42 kilometres – and owns a gym and training centre on the Sunshine Coast.

He is aiming to raise $20,000 for Alzheimer’s Australia on this run.