AROUND THE WORLD: Wilfred Palcy (middle) pictured competing in Paris.
AROUND THE WORLD: Wilfred Palcy (middle) pictured competing in Paris.

A marathon round the world trip

RUNNING: When Wilfred Palcy runs the half marathon in the Cruise Whitsundays Airlie Beach Running Festival on July 17, it will actually be his sixth half marathon in as many weeks.

Will has set himself an extraordinary target of running 52 half marathons in 52 weeks on five continents.

So far he has run in 20 countries, including the US, Asia and Australia.

He chose Airlie Beach as one of his half marathons in Australia, along with Traralgon (June 5), Sydney (June 12), Woy Woy (June 19), Gold Coast (July 3) and Cairns (July 8).

So far, the Paris-born runner with Caribbean roots has raised about $6000 for his chosen charity, La Fondation du Souffle, which combats respiratory diseases.

Will said he chose Airlie Beach because he "loves running along beaches" and the iconic destination appealed to him.

"I am really looking forward to doing some sightseeing when I get to Airlie Beach, including the Great Barrier Reef and other attractions," the 42-year-old human resources manager said.

Between half marathons, Will says he "takes it easy" and relaxes.

"There's no training," he laughed.

"Training is not compatible, unfortunately, with backpacking and travelling on an almost daily basis."

After his tour of Australia, Will is heading west to cover Africa and Europe in his odyssey around the world.

Event organiser Wendy Downes said to look out for Will at the Airlie Beach Running Festival on July 17 and give him a big cheer and maybe donate to his charity.

"(He) will be in Airlie Beach for one week from July 14 to 21, so if you see him around stop and chat to him about his journey, and if anyone would like to offer him a day tour to see some of our spectacular surroundings, please contact info@runairlie.com.au," she said.

"Let's show Will and all the other visiting competitors from near and far what a welcoming and giving community we are."

The Airlie Beach Running Festival not only showcases the scenic half marathon course but also a 10km, Balance Podiatry 5km and Business Team Challenge, which are all held on the Sunday morning.

The popular Bendigo Bank 2km kids' fun run and primary school challenge on the afternoon of Saturday, July 16, always draws a crowd, with schools across the region competing to see who can get the most runners.

Ms Downes said to head along to Airlie Beach lagoon on either day to watch and cheer on participants, and maybe volunteer for an hour or so.

You can register online at http://www.runairlie.com.au for all events until Saturday, July 16, but runners are advised to register early to avoid missing out. For more information about the Airlie Beach Running Festival, visit the website http://www.runairlie.com.au, email info@runairlie.com.au or call 0418 768 493.


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