14 March 2018
Today we shared our 100th and final story, Naba Alfayadh. Naba was a fitting and deliberate choice as our final story. Her boundless enthusiasm and drive left us excited for the future of multiculturalism in Australia, and we hope that after hearing about her incredible achievements to-date, you too will feel inspired.
Perhaps that inspiration will encourage you to start conversations with people of diverse multicultural backgrounds in your own community. Where did they come from? What were their first impressions of Australia? What are their hopes and dreams for the future? These conversations build empathy and understanding, and ultimately, we believe they’ll make your community more prosperous – both socially and economically.
Bounding Plains to Share began as a crazy idea to run from one side of the country to another, but it grew into something far more powerful for us, as we had the privilege of meeting countless new Australians throughout the journey. These people – former refugees, migrants and asylum seekers – came from 31 different countries, and each one had a unique story to share. These were stories of immense hardship, managed with a resilience and strength that – fortunately – most of our lives will never demand.
We were amazed by the determination of each of these people to lead a better life in Australia, and above all, their burning desire to contribute to their community as a show of gratitude for what was often described to us as a ‘second chance at life.’ Almost everyone we met had chosen a career path that would allow them to help others. There were teachers, doctors, nurses, disability workers, social workers, diversity advocates and plenty more. While we were running, they were doing the hard yards in far less glamorous situations, and doing so without complaint. Thanks to everyone who invited us into their homes, their local parks and their workplaces and allowed us to interview them and share their stories online. Thanks also to all the incredible people from multicultural groups and local councils all the way down the East coast, who worked very hard to help us find people to interview. There are too many to name here, but please realise how much we appreciate your efforts!
We’d also like to thank everyone else who made the entire Bounding Plains to Share journey possible. In particular, thanks to the awesome 17 people who came along as support crew. Our two days without a support car in Queensland (when a rat ate our food supplies) are proof that we literally couldn’t have done it without you. These incredible people selflessly donated their time to support us by stopping the car every hour or so to help us top up our food and water supplies. They helped us set up the camper trailer every night, and they sometimes even cooked us dinner!
• Susan & Graham Bursill
• Edward Cohen
• Chrissie Mathewson & Megan Shellie
• Alana Toll
• Nick Montgomery & Audrey Vong
• Ash Spittle
• Tom Banks
• Amy & Charlie McCart
• Georgie Farrell
• Will Crossing
• Sam Edney & Andrew Nilon
• Rob Clark
We’d also like to thank all the wonderful people who welcomed us into their homes along the way. Some were family and friends, and some – incredibly – were those who offered us a place to stay having heard we were in town. The Australian generosity of spirit cannot be understated!
- Carla Gorton & Jonathan Strauss (Cairns)
- Tim & Teisha Keating (Townsville)
- Jo-Hannah Lavey & Brendan Ridgley (Mackay)
- Rebecca & Martin Hack (Rockhampton)
- Shirley & Chris Galea (Bundaberg)
- Anne & Ned Fresta (Bundaberg)
- Barbara & Phil Glenwright (Maryborough)
- Gabby (Noosa)
- Henry Ladd & housemates (Brisbane)
- David Forde (Brisbane)
- David and Madi Hislop (Grafton)
- Greg and Rick Nichols (Grafton)
- Jill & Ron Keating (Port Macquarie)
- Anne & Trevor Banks (Taree)
- Helen Baber & Sean Rapley (Newcastle)
- Erica (Palm Beach)
- Susan & Graham Bursill (Sydney)
- The housemates of 4 Holder st (Canberra)
- Mark Pollock (Albury)
- Peter, Virginia & Xanthea Dewez (Wangaratta)
- Cass Grimes & Colin Hickie (Moonee Ponds)
We’d also like to give a shout out to some companies that helped us out with our gear for the run:
- Rundies Undies sent us some of the most comfortable undies we’ve ever run in – we can definitely recommend them!
- Ultra168 kindly donated some drinking flasks after all of ours succumbed to the Queensland heat.
- The Athlete’s Foot Canberra generously gave us a pair of shoes each before we headed off.
- Hoka One One provided some merchandise and a pair of shoes.
- UV SunWay sent us plenty of legionnaires hats to help us ‘keep our look fresh’ throughout the journey.
Finally, a huge thank you to everyone who donated to the Asylum Seeker Resource Centre. We were amazed by your generosity – together you raised almost $13,000. ASRC CEO Kon took us on a tour of the facilities after the finish, and we were immensely proud to have run for such an awesome organisation. Many thanks to Kon, and the fundraising team at the ASRC, including Jo, Alan and Caitlin for supporting us the whole way. If you’d like to donate, fundraising is still open here.
Bounding Plains to Share really was more than just us, it was a massive team effort, and we are eternally grateful to everyone who supported us in this once-in-a-lifetime experience.
We’ll leave you with some final stats to ponder:
Total distance covered: 3898.45kms
Total running days: 89 days
Average distance per day: 44kms
Rest days: 11
Average daily running time: 5hrs 19 mins
Average pace: 6min 49 p/km
Total vertical climb: 28,414 metres
Number of caravan parks stayed in: 51
Number of houses stayed in: 19
Honk count: 331 honks
Stories shared: 100
Number of countries represented: 31
Check out the entire journey’s route here or below.