From September 14 to 16, Harrison Turner, 24, of Cleveland ran 138km, raised $28,000 for dementia research and learned a great deal about his personal endurance.
Harrison created this personal challenge entitled Miles for Memories as a way of doing something extraordinary, but also to see how far he could push himself.
“At 70km in, I had stomach cramps and starting vomiting. At 90km I was vomiting blood,” he said.
“I couldn’t hold food down. It would have been easy to throw in the towel. I turned off the music in my ear pods and listened to myself.
“It was this inner voice that made me push through. I was there to experience how far I could push myself.
“This made me realise that there is more in you than you think. There is always so much more to give.”
Harrison said he took up the challenge during the off season as a player for the Western Pride football club in Ipswich. His training entailed three 21km half marathons a week.
“But nothing prepared me for the event itself,” he said.
Harrison started the challenge at 4pm at Cleveland running 11.5km every four hours continuously during a 48-hour period.
He finished at the Tugun surf club, running on service roads on the way to the Gold Coast.
Harrison said he was driven to support Dementia Research Australia to honour his maternal grandfather and his great uncle Patrick McCann.
“I see how it affects the family and I wanted to help. I feel so helpless, and I wanted to do something nice,” he said.
The former Ormiston College student studied justice majoring in criminology, policing, policy and governance then started working with his parents Darren and Lisa Turner and cousin at First National Cleveland.
Harrison said he was overwhelmed by business owners and the community who supported his cause, most particularly Jones & Co Grocer IGA which gave him a donation and a trolley full of groceries for the run and the Capalaba Tavern which provided him with a six-berth campervan, manned by his father, brother Wesley and friend Brandon Edlin as his support crew.
Wesley said his grandfather’s memory was slowly fading.
“He lives in the UK so when we visit, it is special but also difficult. Before starting this challenge, one of Harrison’s best friends passed away during a marathon and we are dedicating part of the run for him,” Wesley said.
Harrison said he would like to make Miles for Memories an annual event where other athletes could set their own challenges.
“It was worth it. I’m still on Cloud 9,” he said.
“My friends ran the last leg of the journey in commemoration of our friend Zane Stock. It was amazing to have everyone with me to cross the line as one for Zane.
The GoFundMe website will remain open until the end of October. Search Miles for Memories.